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Propane issue causing boiler burner fault?

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sunlight35
sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
I have a 7-yr old Viessmann vitodens-200 boiler that's been running fine for the first six years then suddenly experiencing burner fault (code Eb) in multiple occasions since this winter. The installer has replaced gas valve, fan, ionization rod and ignition electrodes. Every time after the service call the boiler would run fine for 2-3 weeks before the same burner fault showed up. The installer also did a thorough check to make sure nothing was wrong with the boiler itself, he checked the gas pressure, flue system, etc. With very few options left I want to ask the propane company to set up a temporary tank next to the house and run the boiler off that to rule out it's (or not) the propane issue, I was on the phone with a propane manager and he suggested to replace the propane pressure regulator, if that fails to resolve the issue then we will set up the temporary tank.
Anything else helpful you guys can think of? Thanks!

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  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,839
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    Before the problems, were there any maintenance or service calls completed? If Yes , could the parameters for LP gas be changed? Could air-fuel mixture be changed? Could air intake or flue gas exhaust blockage be a problem?

    Lack of maintenance is usually not addressed in the troubleshooting section in the manual. When they write those manuals they are working with new equipment. 6 years is a long time to not clean the "innards" of a heater. Expecially them new fangled things
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    IronmanHomerJSmith
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
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    When was the heat exchanger last cleaned? The condensate trap and drain line?
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    Before the problems, were there any maintenance or service calls completed? If Yes , could the parameters for LP gas be changed? Could air-fuel mixture be changed? Could air intake or flue gas exhaust blockage be a problem?

    Lack of maintenance is usually not addressed in the troubleshooting section in the manual. When they write those manuals they are working with new equipment. 6 years is a long time to not clean the "innards" of a heater. Expecially them new fangled things

    Yes, the boiler had always been serviced annually by the same contractor since the first year.
    Both Air intake and exhaust pipes have been examined and they are free of blockage.
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    Ironman said:

    When was the heat exchanger last cleaned? The condensate trap and drain line?

    Last maintenance was done in last November
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
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    But did he clean the heat exchanger as prescribed in the manual?
    IDK about your situation, but most "annual maintenance" calls done in this industry are a sham compared to what should be done.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    SuperTech
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,841
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    Do you have the combustion report from the last maintenance? It should be there.
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    I didn't ask for those reports, but so far what do you suggest could be the source of issue?
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    Thank you Ironman, I understand your reasoning.
    What's the chance of having too much methanol in propane would cause burner issue? I am going to ask the propane company see if they can check the gas quality.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
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    That's something you need to ask your LP supplier, but I've never seen it happen around here.

    You seem to be fixated on the gas supply being the problem because you state "there are very few other options", but until a proper evaluation and diagnosis of the boiler is done, I cannot agree with that conclusion though it is a possibility.

    Deductive reasoning is part of the diagnostic process, but it must be based upon facts (actual readings, measurements, observations), not assumptions.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    STEAM DOCTORSuperTechsunlight35STEVEusaPA
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    I recorded a video of the start-up:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTqt_xNjvi0

    See if it offers any clue from the sound that it made.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
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    That doesn't really offer much other than it showed 73* outside temp. If that's correct, th boiler would be in WWSD.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    There is a call from DHW
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    Did this problem occur in days when the temperatures were near 0 degrees. some times when you have a long run of pipe from the propane tank the propane stays in a liquid state and does not become a gas.

    I had a friend that ran into this problem, the cure was to put a ten gallon tank in the house to collect the liquid and allow it evaporate and become gaseous. The outlet tap was from the top of the tank the inlet also was at the top of the tank with a syphon tube to have the liquid deposited to the bottom of tank.

    Never had the problem again.

    Jake

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,569
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    Find out if a combustion analysis has been performed. Some companies have a different idea when it comes to proper annual maintenance.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    sunlight35
  • sunlight35
    sunlight35 Member Posts: 35
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    Did this problem occur in days when the temperatures were near 0 degrees.

    We had a mild winter this year so this problem happened when temperatures were mostly above 32F
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    That burner light-off sounds very lean.

    You need combustion numbers, on a clean heat exchanger to go any further!

    Excessive methanol in LP cab make the burner wistle and has a bit of a funny smell from the combustion.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!