Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Boiler issue

Options
TJK500
TJK500 Member Posts: 16
Looking for some input on ignition issue with IBC HC 33-160 on LP at 8000'. The boiler lights and runs with no problem. I tuned boiler and watched gas pressure for the duration of the start up. The boiler will operate for 2 to 3 weeks with no code and then we get a code 4 flame failure. I can go back and check everything out and reset boiler and all is well for 2 to 3 weeks then code 4 flame failure. Does anyone have any ideas on what I might look at next?
Thanks!!

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    Options
    How long has it been in? They usually hold the settings pretty well. Anything out of the ordinary on the install? Vent lengths? Got a pix?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
    Options
    Was it tuned with combustion analyzer? What were the readings at high and low fire?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    kcoppHVACNUT
  • TJK500
    TJK500 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    The boiler was installed and start up was in August of 2019. The vent goes out a sidewall. Total length on 3" flue and CA is around 30' with 24" of separation and the recommended vent termination for wind from IBC. I'm going to jobsite again on Thursday to gather more intel. Yes I used a Bacharach to tune. High fire was 10.3 CO2 Low fire was 9.9 CO2
    Gas pressure was 11.5" static and 10.8" at high fire. This is the first issue I've had with IBC HC series boilers since we started putting them in 4 years ago. Thanks again for any input.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    Options
    Numbers look fine to me. Right in line.
    Venting is also fine especially because you used 3".
    What is the boiler hooked into for a system?

  • TJK500
    TJK500 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    The system is combination indirect water heater, baseboard and radiant floor. I spoke with the homeowner today to try to get more info. Since it is flame failure and seems to be random I'm going to fire all gas appliances and check final gas pressure to verify that the gas reg is right. The LP company came out twice to tell us that it was right but I didn't do a load test to verify. Kinda feel like I'm wandering in the dark and I don't like that.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    Options
    Did you try IBC Tech support?
    They are pretty good.
    I have some numbers if you need them.
  • TJK500
    TJK500 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    I did reach out to them today and we are planning on a call Thursday to verify once I can be on the job site. Thanks again for all your help. I will post up the solution when we get one.
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,468
    Options
    Intermittences are the most difficult problems to solve. Everything works fine while you're there and after you leave you're called back . The source of the problem, of course, is Gremlins.

    Somethings to consider: The boiler is working properly as it does for several weeks, so one could infer an intermittent is causing the problem and not an abject failure. The boiler is comprised of a lot of itsy bitsy parts that talk to each other thru wires. Also, the LP gas comes from the outside thru pipes and regulators. So...

    At 8000' and in winter, is it possible that the house regulator is freezing up at nite? Does the failure occur during the day or night?

    Is the LP orifice in the gas valve correct?

    Did you unplug and replug all the connection in the boiler? Paying special attentions to grounds and the gas valve connection? I've had molex connections pins that tested ok and have been a failure which I had to replace.

    Is the polarity of the power outlet that the boiler is plugged into correct and the power wires in the boiler correct?

    Is the igniter gap correct? Too close together, the ignition voltage will be lower. Is the boiler combustion chamber grounded?

    Is the condensate draining properly? Too much water vapor in the combustion chamber can affect ignition.

    A poorly soldered connection on a control board, ignition module, or gas valve can cause an intermittent problem.
    kcoppcobyAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
    Options
    I assume you are in the Rockies somewhere? You may want to check in with your local rep and see if there are known altitude issues.
    I had trouble with a couple Lochinvar water tube boilers with a similar problem. The factory was unable to figure it out. The rep in Denver suggested tuning it so it ran richer on low fire. 2 1/2 years later, not a single callback.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    kcopp
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    Options
    @TJK500 … any resolution on this?
  • TJK500
    TJK500 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    It has been about 4 weeks since we had this issue and thought we had it fixed. Friday May 1st we had the same code 4 back. Pushed the reset and has been running fine ever since. Talked to IBC today and we are going to test all electrical ins and outs and reset combustion. No issues with the other gas appliances in the house. No power failures SMH!!!
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
    Options
    That is frustrating…. Have you checked all the plugs and connections? A loose plug or even a bad molex connector will lock out a boiler intermittently.
  • TJK500
    TJK500 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    I worked for about 2 hours the last time we were up on this one and pulled the board and inspected all electrical connections. I'm truly at wits end. I'm thinking about bringing in another contractor to see if we can come up with something I'm not seeing or covering.
    Thanks for your input.
  • superdave
    superdave Member Posts: 155
    Options
    Where are you located?? Has it giving you problem after ran or windy days?? We had a problem a few years ago and it was something on the street We ended up using a recorder that monitored the power coming in to the boiler.
  • TJK500
    TJK500 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    The job is located in the mountains above Salida Colorado. I'm going up to the job site to review the install. I'll check out the power situation and see what we can find. Where would I source a recorder?
  • PerryHolzman
    PerryHolzman Member Posts: 234
    Options
    Voltage surges may be a cause... The best way (and only long term way) to take care of that is with a transformer based surge protector.

    Instead of recording - why not stop the problem from occuring.

    I hard wired a commercial 20 NEMA box Zero Surge protector before the receptacle to power my boiler. I have since also added a double conversion pure sine wave uninterruptible power supply (with enough back-up batteries to run my heating system for at least several days).

    I recommend Zero Surge. They are transformer based and add other protective elements (and also supply serious surge protectors to OEMs for their equipment).

    https://zerosurge.com/

    Not cheap... but well worth it.

    I also have assorted of the plug in variety around the house. Not as many as I want. I typically buy a 1 or 2 every other year or so.

    These will not prevent power drop out if loss of power occurs (even the flickering of the lights). You need a UPS for that. Pure sine wave is best - near sine wave may work. My advice is to Stay away from the cheaper square wave units - which are most commonly sold in all kind of stores - as some electronics do poorly on square waves).

    I wish you well with this.

    Perry
  • 1sttimeposter
    1sttimeposter Member Posts: 39
    Options
    Not sure if our IBC SL 10-85 has a similar setup as HC.

    We have had issues and kept getting intermittent ignition error ever since we got it brand new. Changed two new ignitors without luck.

    Then last Feb., we changed out the ignitor cable as a trial and have not had any ignition error since. Knock on wood.
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 888
    Options
    I chased one like this several years ago, It was a Baxi. Turned out that boiler was VERY sensitive to ground issues. Called Baxi, they sent out a box to plug in and run. A few weeks later sent it back and they said I had a bad ground based off the report that plug in box showed. Changed the breaker ran a new line over and was never a problem again. Real weird.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
    Options
    Have you reached out to the regional rep?
    McCoy Sales is usually excellent.
    https://www.usa.ibcboiler.com/contact-us/
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Options
    Try Richard Graves (Heatmeister) at 970-513-0697. or heatmeister@comcast.net He's highly competent.
    kcopp