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Viessman Vitodens 200W: Fault EE / Unstable room temp / Can't set some temperatures

pbrisbin
pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
Hi there-

Apologies for the length of this post and variety of issues. I recently inherited a Vitodens 200W Gas boiler with my home purchase. I'm in the US and it seems these are rare here. The local contractor who installed it did so under protest and spends half of every conversation I have with them complaining about it, so I'm hopeful someone on these forums might have a more positive outlook and give more consideration to some of my questions (instead of just dismissing things as the unit being "finicky"). Thank you in advance.

1- EE Fault

Every few days or so the unit shuts down with Fault code 1 EE. I go down and reset it and it runs fine for another 24-72 hours before happening again. My local contractor is waiting on a replacement igniter (and another part I don't remember) to hopefully resolve the issue, but they don't seem optimistic. Anyone have more details about potential causes or DIY remedies for this intermittent fault?

2- Room temperature is not stable

My understanding is this unit uses the outdoor temperature along with "slope" and "offset" settings to decide how much heat to provide, in an effort set keep a consistent room temperature. I find this frustrating.

In typical winter temperatures (~30F) I set the room temperature to 61F to keep my house where I want. Upstairs is a lot warmer than downstairs, so I aim for 70F upstairs and 66F downstairs as a compromise. Setting at 61 seems to do it, if it's cold outside.

The problem is as it warms up outside, it gets cold inside. I need to move the setting up from 61F to about 63F to keep the house where I want it if it's ~50F outside. This is a constant battle of trial & error.

The local contractor moved the slope setting from the default of 1.6 down to 1.5 as an attempted fix, but I've not noticed much difference. Can anyone speak more to how these settings impact things and give some more precise guidance than arbitrarily changing things and seeing what happens?

3- Can't set some temperatures

This is as simple as it sounds. I literally cannot set the room temperature to certain temperatures. If I move the dial to 60F and press OK, when I go back and look it's back to 61F. It seems to require odd temperatures. If I move it to 58F, press OK, when I go back and look it's shifted to 59F. Same thing happens with reduced room temp. At higher temperatures, it seems to want evens. If I move it to 67F and press OK, when I look again it's shifted to 66F or 68F (depending on which direction I came from).

What is happening here, is this just how it works?

Thanks again for any and all thoughts,
Pat

Comments

  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 678
    I believe @GW and @Paul Pollets are familiar with the Viessman programming. Hopefully they'll see this. Your contractor is being a bit of a twit though. They aren't "finicky", their programming is designed by Germans, so there can be some issues trying to get it to do something their engineering group would think is ridiculous. He should start reading the literature because I'll bet most of the control parameters are in there
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    yes I don't do this enough to speak over the keyboard extremely well

    what model boiler? there are several Vitodens 200

    what room sensor do you have?

    Gary
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    what model boiler? there are several Vitodens 200


    WB2B 35? Here is a picture of the label:



    what room sensor do you have?


    No room sensor. The local contractor said this model doesn't support though. I asked about it because it seems like an obvious way to solve my unstable temperature issues -- if it could actually see what temperature the room really was.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    OK makes good sense, second generation Vitosens 200. No room sensor, no problem. But that boiler is meant to be constant circulation. It always has some heat going on.

    If your local guys can’t really deal with Viessmann, you certainly don’t want them hooking up a room sensor.

    Do you know how to access the slope and shift? You’re gonna have to raise the shift quite a bit.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    Do you know how to access the slope and shift? You’re gonna have to raise the shift quite a bit.


    Yes, I think I do. I have the book with the steps for that and watched the local guy make the one adjustment so far.
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    edited January 2020
    I'm a homeowner who has an earlier model Vitodens 200 (and I have a room sensor in my living room; but it does not display any numbers). I have cast iron baseboard heat on a monoflow T system (built in the mid 1950's).

    You have a great boiler once it's set up correctly. Be sure to have the HX cleaned every year by someone who knows how (and has the tool for cleaning between the coils).

    The experts here can help you a lot. I suggest you learn as much as possible about your system and it's programming. It's obvious that your local heating contractor is not willing too. I have a similar situation; and had to change both the slope and the maximum boiler outlet temperature to get mine to correctly heat my house from fall to the coldest winter days (-30 F) and back to spring.

    You will do well,

    Perry
    pbrisbin
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2020
    Thanks very much @PerryHolzman, that's great to hear! I definitely expect my experience with this heater can be improved with proper programming (which is certainly not the case right now).

    My main question on that topic is how to approach that... I don't have a sense (and can't seem to understand from documentation) of how these parameters will impact what I'm feeling from the heat and specifically how to close the gap between room-temp setting and room-temp desired across the range temperatures I see in fall-winter-spring.

    It seemed like @GW would be able to provide some direction?
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    I'm pretty useless unless I'm in front of the boiler, you just need to tweak until it works well. Start moving the shift up and see what happens, it takes a full day to see the results, so keep trying till it seems like it's good.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    That's more direction than I've gotten so far! You expect moving shift up is likely to make it not require so much room-temp adjustments when the outside temperatures swing? Adjusting the slope or moving shift down is unlikely to be the answer?
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    both have an impact but i thought you said you're not warm enough when it's mild outside. Please condense the issues into one sentence and I'll tell you my best guess
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    but i thought you said you're not warm enough when it's mild outside


    That's one way to solve it, but not the only way (see below).

    Please condense the issues into one sentence and I'll tell you my best guess


    One sentence: The unit does not provide a consistent room temperature when the outdoor temperature changes.

    More direct, but unfortunately a second sentence: either I need more heat at warmer temperatures, or I need less heat at colder temperatures.

    I would actually prefer less heat at colder temperatures, because then I would raise the set room-temperature and it may start to agree more with the actual room temperature (seems to be off by about 5F right now). But that's not particularly important.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    >>>> I need more heat at warmer temperatures, or I need less heat at colder temperatures

    Lower the curve and raise the shift.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,387
    edited January 2020
    The WB2B can be installed with the Vitotrol 300 remote thermostat, which has an internal sensor. The sensor can be enabled or disabled at the boiler with internal code. It's important to wait 24-48 hrs after making any changes, as the computer has an e-prom chip and memorizes the past 24 hrs of temperature patterns. Making changes erases the memory and the computer starts over. Are you running the boiler with a regular thermostat? One concern would be if there is adequate heat emitters in the rooms that are cooler. If you have TRV's on the radiators, balancing is quite easy. If not, balancing the system can be difficult and changing the shift may not affect the overall balance. It's not possible to get 2 temperatures out of 1 heating circuit.
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    The WB2B can be installed with the Vitotrol 300 remote thermostat


    I see. My local contractor seemed to contradict this, he said I couldn't use one with this model. (This is the same thing as a "room sensor" right?)

    Are you running the boiler with a regular thermostat?


    No. I have a nest thermostat for the AC, which is what I'm using to judge the actual (downstairs) room temperature. It does not (can not?) talk to the Vitodens.

    If you have TRV's on the radiators, balancing is quite easy


    The radiators do have knobs that I can open/close. Some are stuck, but most move. I've used this to bring the temp down in one room that ran quite a bit hotter than the rest.

    I'm not familiar with the term "TRV", but googling seems to show things that look different than the simple knob I'm turning, but maybe they just look different when not from the 1930s :) -- are they the same thing?

    I've been nervous about making (what I consider) drastic changes, such as closing all the upstairs radiators, to try and balance the floor temperature differences -- is that a good strategy to try?
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,387
    Radiator shut off valves cannot be used to balance the system. TRV's or thermostatic radiator valves can. The Nest thermostat is not compatible with the Viessmann computer, the Vitotrol 300 is. Changing the Nest out would be a good idea. Make sure you order the correct Vitotrol as there are different models, and you want one that works with the WB2B model.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    Paul sounds like he saying that Nest is not connected to the boiler.Sounds like he was just looking at it to see what the temperature is in the room.

    If it’s a one pipe system, you can make some adjustments by fiddling with the radiator valves.

    Lots of technical ins and outs here, no wonder why these conversations go on forever.

    Sounds like the system is operating off of warm weather shut down. Totally cool but you just need to nail the slope in shift

    The 300 room sensor would be nice, but apparently there’s no Viessmann people around that can probably set it up.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    edited January 2020
    The Nest thermostat is not compatible with the Viessmann computer, the Vitotrol 300 is. Changing the Nest out would be a good idea.


    So, I've found what I think you're talking about:

    https://viessmanndirect.co.uk/Catalogue/Controls/Vitotrol-300/Vitotrol-300A-Remote-Control-3-Heating-Circuits-Z008342

    This appears to be a combination of a Remote Control unit and a Room Sensor, pretty cool. But I would still have to keep my nest to control the AC, no? Not sure I like having two thermostats up there on the wall -- so I may hold off on this for now.

    Radiator shut off valves cannot be used to balance the system. TRV's or thermostatic radiator valves can.


    Got it, makes sense. Maybe I'll consider adding TRVs some day to help with that problem. The temperature difference room to room is manageable. It's the need to change the set temperature in response to the outdoor temperature that's the real problem anyway. Thanks for the suggestion though.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,387
    It's not all that difficult. But if you don't read and understand the manuals, it can be. I'm wondering what the heating curves are set at?
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    I'm wondering what the heating curves are set at?


    I believe the curve is the setting the local contractor adjusted, he moved it from the default of 1.6 down to 1.5. I haven't noticed anything really change.

    I can go down and run through the controls to get the exact details, but not till later tonight.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,387
    the factory default is 1.4 that presumes a 140 design temp. If the curve needs to be higher, no issue. It needs to be set to make the residence heat properly.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    hmmm I always had a different definition of the curve number 😀
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,387
    GW, what's your interpretation? The 1.4 does not mean 140. The curve goes as high as 3.5. Each .1 change = 3 degrees hotter system water
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    Ok I thought you say 1.4 means 140. I’m sorry I misunderstood

    My brain says 1.0 is 1 degree hotter water (based off of wwsd) for every 1degree lower the outdoor temp drops. And so on. I presume this is C not F.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    My brain says 1.0 is 1 degree hotter water (based off of wwsd) for every 1degree lower the outdoor temp drops


    That's exactly the sort of answer I was looking for when I asked originally, "Can anyone speak more to how these settings impact things [...]?" Thank you.

    I think I understand: I want to lower that value so that the water gets "less hotter" as it gets colder outside. This should cause the house to feel not as warm in colder temperatures. That way, the higher room-temperature I currently set during warm weather won't cause things to be too hot during cold weather. I won't have to keep changing things back and forth.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    Yes, then turn the slope to a lower number. Try a half point and see if that does the job, my best guess. Example- you’re at 1.6 now, try it at 1.1. Do the same with the shift, but up up, not down.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    Will do!

    Do you have a simple "My brain says..." description for what effect changing shift has?
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    My brain cannot articulate that quite as clearly, but the shift is moving the entire curve vertically up and down. If you can picture the curve in your mind, the shift is literally going up and down, make sense?
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    I think it does. I could be over-simplifying, but it sounds like it would uniformly change the difference between the set room temperature and actual room temperature.

    So, let's say moving the slope fixes my first problem, and now I have the unit set at a consistent 63F and my house is a consistent 68F in warm or cold weather. I could move the shift UP to fix that 5 degree difference, so it's set to 68F and the house is 68F.

    There's no real problem with it being off, I just have to know, but getting it to actually align would be icing on the cake.

    Thanks again for your patience and help.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    Yes, as you point out, there are three factors. Slope shift and the target temperature of the boiler thinks it’s trying to make. Keep in mind, your boiler has no clue what the actual room temperature is. It’s just going off some general math.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    Shoot, I hit the go button again.

    There’s no simple way to dial this in. The normal way is to slap the 300 control on the wall.

    Keep in mind as you are experimenting and adjusting, it’s gonna take a full day for the system to acclimate. As you know, it’s colder at night then it is in the day, it just takes time

    If you feel like the cold and mild temperatures are staying even, you could simply fiddle with the daytime/nighttime temps. Don’t feel like you must have exactness. If you want temperature X in the house and you have the boiler set a temperature Y, and it’s doing the job, wonderful, case closed.

    With that said, I may be very difficult to perfectly nail two different set points, day and night. Good luck, keep hammering at it
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    edited January 2020
    Pat: If I may ask, where are you located. I'm in eastern Wisconsin. If we are close I may be able to drop by and look your system over and help where I can (no guarantees). I also suspect that the programming on your Vitodens 200 is very similar to mine. I can likely explain some of whats in your manual.

    While I'm a homeowner to this forum. I spent probably 4 years of my youth cleaning and repairing home and small industrial coal fired boilers and furnaces. I've spent most of my adult life with industrial and power plant boilers.... There are many commonalities despite the size difference. I also became and expert at industrial and power plant heat exchangers as well.

    I know the older Vitodens 200 (I have a 6-24) better than anyone within about 90 miles of me. I actually do almost all of my own service as well. I got tired of having a heating contractor stand here looking at the boiler, and other than doing a combustion analysis test and a few other basics having no idea how to proceed and them letting me do my own work under their "supervision" since I knew the programing and how to take it apart and put it back together (The Viesmann rep showed me how to do that when I purchased the boiler - that was part of the deal I made with him). I also have the Vitodens tool kit. It's a lot of "fun" to pay a heating contractor for a service call and their time when I do most of the work with my own tools.

    Perry
    SuperTech
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    Thanks @PerryHolzman, I really appreciate that offer. I'm in PA just outside of Philly, so I think that's a bit too far.

    I'd be more than happy to pay someone to help me with all of this, but I haven't been able to find anyone locally yet (using Viessman's online "contractor locator" tools). NY or MA are be the closest regions that show some results.

    Hopefully the local contractor I do have (who is not a fan of these units and seems unwilling to dig into programming or install a 300A) can at least resolve the EE faults and handle a yearly HX cleaning. We'll see.
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 301
    edited February 9
    I have a Vitotrol 300 paired with WB2B 35 (same as yours), and the boiler is able to maintain the set room temperature with great accuracy (most of the time within +/- 0.5 degree F), if you can't find someone to help you set it up, it's not hard to do it yourself. You need to run two wires from the 300 to the boiler (https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1373638/Viessmann-Vitotrol-300.html?page=3#manual). Then in coding level 2, set address B0 to 3 and B5 to 5.
    On a separate note, you can also set address 51 to 1 (in case you haven't) so the boiler pump isn't always running when the the boiler isn't running.
    You can also play with address 90, it deals with how quickly a change in outside temperature can affect your indoor temperature based on your house insulation, so your boiler can calculate the right average outdoor temperature to use for determining the supply temperature.
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 487
    The Viessmann boiler is a bit more difficult to get set up IMO .... speaking as a homeowner who has only worked with Buderus boilers previously. Every house has a different heat loss obviously .. another given is the house is going to require more heat as the temps drop. So there can not be an "one" correct setting. With a conventional thermostat -- the system runs until the house is warm enough -- turning on and off as needed. The Viessmann wants to be "on" all the time .... the boiler providing just enough to keep the room at the set point. It's doing this based on outside temp.

    I set mine on a cold day. Since the set temp on the face of the boiler does change things -- I put mine to the temp I wanted. I then made sure that all the valves and controls are "open" ...... you have to have everything open and "on" or you will not be able to understand what the boiler is delivering to the house. At that point I played with the "slope" with the shift at "0" -- I was trying to get the boiler set for a cold day. In my case w/ radiant it was around a .8 ... It took me a week or so going up one and down one to get to the .8 . I did play with the "shift" ..... it's not at 1 point above "0" .... I may have to play with this on a warmer day as I think it's still a bit low.

    You have to find that temp on a reasonably cold typical day -- that becomes the start point. This Viessmann is installed in a gut remodel with spray foam .. so it well insulated. My other systems in older house with radiators have a wider slope .. they also have a bigger "shift" .. they don't hold the heat as well and get cold when it's 50 out.

    Once you get it close on the boiler -- that's the time to play with the individual room radiators or whatever you are using. You can make one room cooler .. as long as the room does not change much of the house.

    The optional room control -- is sort of an override. Say it's very overcast and windy .... that's going to change the heat needed .... same with calm and very sunny. With a well insulated house these changes make less difference .... in an old drafty house they make more. The room 300 can adjust ... or you can just temp change the setting if you want the house warmer . The control has to be in the correct location -- you don't want it is a room that you changed the flow to -- or a room that gets lots of heat gain from the sun.

    The old Buderus system was two thumb screws -- it was real easy to just go down and turn one when the house was too cold to set it up. I also understood at my old big stone house that on windy overcast days in the coldest part of the winter the system needed higher temps. I would go down and move up the "shift" ... Buderus uses different term.
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    edited February 16
    Hey folks, thank you for the additional replies. I thought I should provide a quick update:

    What's going well:

    1. My local contractor, despite voicing his disdain for this system repeatedly, was able to fix the EE fault by replacing that part
    2. After playing with the shift and slope, the home temperature has been more stable this season

    What's still confusing

    1. The set-temp still skips degrees with no rhyme or reason. If I want to adjust the home temp, I have to move by 2 degree increments, except in certain spots where I am able to move by 1 degree. This is more confusing than problematic, but it is a minor annoyance when I want the house to be just a little colder, but I can only keep it the same or jump 2 degrees, which is then too cold
    2. The set-temp is not at all the house temp in reality. In other words, I set the control temp to ~59F to make the house ~70F. Not a big deal, but I can't seem to correct it.
    3. The house is still about two degrees or two too hot on some days, but I can't change the set-temp, or I'll wake up way to cold some later night (which is really a deal breaker with little kids sleeping)
    I'll go over the new suggestions at some point soon and decide if I want to take any actions.

    Thank you for the details setup steps @TAG, those will be incredibly helpful if I decide to wade into configuration again. And @sunlight33, it's good to know installing a 300 myself shouldn't be too much of a hassle -- I'll certainly consider that.
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 487
    PB -- I have had that strange inability to set the "set temp" as you call it .... I'm still trying to understand what that number is and what it does. But, like you I try to set a temp .... it says "OK" .. goes back to the old setting. Since the unit has no "room" thermostat .. what is that number? Also --- say the unit has an internal thermostat to measure local temp (I don't think it does) it would measure too warm as the equipment around the boiler would throw it off.

    So what is that number? I have asked ,,,, but no real answer.

    What I do know is it changes the boiler curves. So it's important ... there is no point in setting the slope and shift of the boiler and then throwing that temp setting way off to get what you want. like you are doing with the 59 setting. My house is under construction -- I wanted to get around a 64 interior temp. I set the temp at 64 and then played with the slope and shift to mach what worked.

    I would look at the slope and shift you have working now ..... change the temp to what you want on the display and then adjust the slope and shift back to those working numbers. Understand?

    With mine set that way it seems to logically work when I want to raise the temp to 68 when I'm there on the weekends.

    I have the 300 control .... it's not installed yet. I assume this will further modify the way the unit works.

  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    edited April 5
    @sunlight33


    You can also play with address 90, it deals with how quickly a change in outside temperature can affect your indoor temperature based on your house insulation


    After you mentioned this, I realized it's very much something I want to adjust. If we have cold days then a warm day, our house is boiling on the warm day. Similarly, if we have warm days then a cold day, the house is freezing that cold day. It makes sense since our house is very poorly insulated, so I likely need things to adjust more quickly than it is.

    Can you tell me any more about the setting? Which way to move this setting to make it adjust more quickly, what is a "small" or "large" amount to change it by while experimenting?
  • sunlight33
    sunlight33 Member Posts: 301
    Lower the valve address of 90 will make the boiler adjust quicker to change in outside temperature. Your boiler uses the average of the outside temperature to determine the supply temperature. 1 increment is equal to 10 minutes, so if you set the address to 18, the boiler will consider the average temperature of the last 3 hours (18*10=180 minutes) in the formula for the supply temperature.
  • pbrisbin
    pbrisbin Member Posts: 16
    That's perfect! Thanks for the quick reply.
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 812
    edited April 7
    do you have an outdoor sensor installed in proper location?
    Do you have low-loss header installed?
    do you have an indirect water heater installed and connected to the boiler?
    do you have a system sensor installed?
    room temperature on the boiler display is just a reference point, has nothing to do with actual room temperature.
    These boilers are not used with a room thermostat unless you disable the boiler logic board.
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