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

pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
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

  • CanuckerCanucker Member Posts: 656
    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
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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.
  • PerryHolzmanPerryHolzman Member Posts: 200
    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
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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?
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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?
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    >>>> 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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,359
    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.
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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 PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,359
    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.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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 PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,359
    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?
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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 PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,359
    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.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    hmmm I always had a different definition of the curve number 😀
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,359
    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
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    Will do!

    Do you have a simple "My brain says..." description for what effect changing shift has?
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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.
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • GWGW Member Posts: 3,906
    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
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • PerryHolzmanPerryHolzman Member Posts: 200
    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
  • pbrisbinpbrisbin Member Posts: 13
    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.

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