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***Installation Disaster*** homeowner needs advice

drivenserbdrivenserb Member Posts: 13
edited June 23 in THE MAIN WALL
This is my second time posting in this group. I received some amazing advice previously.

System specifications Navien NHB150 & NTI DHW Tank.

Scope of work:
- Install NHB 150
- Install NTI DHW Tank
- Supply and install 1 euro slim radiator and one towel warmer.
Replace all existing iron pipe In basement ceiling from the manifold to the radiators on the first floor of the house( some pipes badly coroded.
- install one customer supplied radiator.

Total cost 17.2k incl HST

March 2nd 2020 The company I hired in Toronto, Ontario began work. They worked at my house every day for nearly 2 weeks. Upon completion as the job appears to be done around March 13th with exception of installing the ecobee thermostat. They were paid for the job.

Hours after they left and the heat was running I went downstairs and found multiple leaks and water gushing from pipes. One sweat fitting was never soldered once he left and the system got up to temp the flux melted and caused quite a leak. They returned to fix and all was good. Day 2 after install another serious leak was discovered spraying in a wall. Upon inspecting everything I found 5 leaks 4 of which they have yet to properly address but have attempted to fix 5X with failure.

Here is where things get wild. My DHW pump won’t stop it’s causing the loop to heat backwards and pump incredible heat into my radiators. My bathroom on the second floor reached 40C /104F this past weekend during a heat advisory.

Tech spent 2 hours and claimed aquastat was defective. Came back today replaced with a new aquastat that feeds off the 24v from the Navien. Claimed defective again ( if I’m not mistaken the navien doesn’t push enough amps to operate the switch). During this time I reached out to a friend of mine that actually works for Navien(wish I knew this before) he is a specialist in this system. He advised tech needs a standard Honeywell aquastat to work on this system. I provided this info and the tech confirmed with Navian support.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better... hope you’re sitting down...

My friend at Navien asked for pictures of the install and everything. After reviewing he reported back that there was no tag or sticker on the gas line, I also found a copper radiator line they installed resting on the gas line. I called the contractor and just about lost it and threatened to contact TSSA. He arrived within 30 minutes and addressed the pipe on the gas line and not being the installer he put a sticker with the wrong Install date and the rest of the info he just put whatever. My friend also confirmed that everything is installed wrong and one pump in the system is missing. Thats likely pump is running nonstop causing heat to travel back up the loop. I confronted the contractor and his response was regarding the 3rd pump that the pump is inside the boiler. Well actually the NHB 150 does not have a pump inside it’s the combi that has the pump inside.

Long story short the easiest way to fix this is to reinstall the whole system at this point. I am very concerned as this contractor has not only totally screwed this up I don’t feel they are capable of doing this properly.

Opinions please on how to deal with this I am mentally taxed dealing with this clueless contractor. I fear my only recourse is to Call TSSA to investigate Which they will likely red tag me and hire someone else to reinstall the whole system and proceed with legal action against the company that originally installed the system.

Comments

  • drivenserbdrivenserb Member Posts: 13
    By no means am I an expert but I have a strong understanding of mechanical. I can’t imagine what this company has done to people that don’t understand or have had their work checked. I wish I saw more of these problems sooner but I trusted them as the expert.
  • BillyOBillyO Member Posts: 186
    Bad installs are a dime a dozen lately. Hopefully you can have this resolved out of court. Good Luck
    drivenserb
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 5,827
    I don't think you have a choice but to sawzall the whole thing. It really is a safety issue. It looks like they also forgot to prime and or glue your exhaust vent as well. The manufacture will never warranty that mess, so a do over is in order.

    Your best chance of recouping your money is to get a full writeup from the manufacture, AHJ and contractor that does the repipe. The goal is to make this very simple for the judge or arbitrator to understand.

    I suspect that your present issue is due to a lack of check valves on the circulators. The water is probably flowing backwards through the heat loop during a call for DWH.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    GroundUp
  • drivenserbdrivenserb Member Posts: 13
    > @Zman said:
    > I don't think you have a choice but to sawzall the whole thing. It really is a safety issue. It looks like they also forgot to prime and or glue your exhaust vent as well. The manufacture will never warranty that mess, so a do over is in order.
    >
    > Your best chance of recouping your money is to get a full writeup from the manufacture, AHJ and contractor that does the repipe. The goal is to make this very simple for the judge or arbitrator to understand.
    >
    > I suspect that your present issue is due to a lack of check valves on the circulators. The water is probably flowing backwards through the heat loop during a call for DWH.

    Agreed I really don’t think there is any way to save this whole setup without turning it into a complete mess. I’ve been told the manufacturer will not void the warranty that I should not be concerned about that. My exhaust is glued but the intake is not. It’s just easier to start from scratch as crappy as that is. Yes lack of check valves is quite possiblY an issue aswell. My DHW pump will not stop working. Even after the 3rd aquastat was installed yesterday. It’s pushing heat backwards through the loop as you mentioned.

    Responses have stopped and a request for the owner to do a site visit and discuss next steps has come to a dead stop as of lastnight.
  • Paul PolletsPaul Pollets Member Posts: 3,292
    edited June 23
    Sawzallectomy, for sure. With the shortage of qualified technicians and fitters, it is important to vet the contractor and verify their skillsets. They should be able to provide references and pics of their jobs that show some level of competence. I'm always sad to see this type of work. It's a black eye to those who practice their craft the way it's suposed to be done.
    GroundUpIronmanSteve Minnich
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,041
    @drivenserb

    I would try to find an independent inspector to look at your system and write up a full report on everything that is substandard and put it in writing. An "expert witness" if you will.

    You probably have to try and get the original contractor to come back and fix this.

    If he cannot make it satisfactory sue his **** off and get another contractor
  • drivenserbdrivenserb Member Posts: 13
    > @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes said:
    > They could have looked at the installation instructions.
    >
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > Make sure the next guy installs isolation valves and unions at each piece of equipment, insulates his pipes, wipes the flux off any soldered fittings and reads and understands the installation instructions.

    > @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes said:
    > They could have looked at the installation instructions.
    >
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > Make sure the next guy installs isolation valves and unions at each piece of equipment, insulates his pipes, wipes the flux off any soldered fittings and reads and understands the installation instructions.

    > @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes said:
    > They could have looked at the installation instructions.
    >
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > Make sure the next guy installs isolation valves and unions at each piece of equipment, insulates his pipes, wipes the flux off any soldered fittings and reads and understands the installation instructions.

    > @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes said:
    > They could have looked at the installation instructions.
    >
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > Make sure the next guy installs isolation valves and unions at each piece of equipment, insulates his pipes, wipes the flux off any soldered fittings and reads and understands the installation instructions.

    You know what’s really funny the manager walked into my house today with the book open to this page and said what is the guy from Navein talking about there is only 2 pumps And points to the ones circled. I looked at it for about 10seconds and I pointed to the system pump and told him So what’s this. The look on his face...I honestly can’t believe the incompetence. I then told him I sell artificial Christmas trees and LED Christmas lights for a living it’s pretty sad I’m able to figure it out and he can’t. I wish I got a picture of his facial expression.

    Long story short they understand what they did wrong. They want to hack it all together. I told them they will not be hacking it together they will be starting from scratch. My Navein contact is recommending the prebuilt manifold they supply and I agree because it makes this idiot proof.

    The owner did finally do a site visit and he said he is sending his experienced commercial boiler tech. He did I video call and this tech immediately recognized some of the issues. I have a little more faith but I’m not holding my breath.
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,989
    that was a professional install? In who's world? what a mess...
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,421
    Professional.................Someone that gets paid for there services.

    Qualified.......................Someone then Knows what there doing!
    mattmia2Steve MinnichCLamb
  • flat_twinflat_twin Member Posts: 256
    Drivenserb you're getting quite an education albeit the hard way. Be sure they install the outdoor temp sensor and use outdoor reset programming to control the boiler water temperature for heating. It will be up to you to make adjustments as needed next winter to dial in the system to your emitters, your home's heating needs. Read all you can about outdoor reset and keeping the boiler return temps under 140f if possible.
  • Alan (California Radiant) ForbesAlan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 2,330
    edited June 24
    Bully for them to return and fix their piping. That's very admirable to admit mistakes made and be willing to make the customer happy. Rare these days and worth a handshake.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.

    Click here to learn more about this contractor.
    kcopp
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Member Posts: 923
    Ya! There were a few problems, but the installation sure was cheap! Not all competitive bids are equal.
    mattmia2Steve Minnich
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Member Posts: 93
    I think we will keep seeing this more any more. Owners are convinced they can’t make a profit and pay more to get better help, but in reality, inexperience or lower quality installers cost you 5x in mistakes what your pay in higher wages.

    Further, customers won’t pay the premium for top quality installs in most cases.

    But it’s a vicious cycle. I’m still learning myself and have made plenty of mistakes on boiler installs. But we always fix it and leave the customer with a working system.

    I don’t understand why they didn’t catch all of this at startup. When you turn it on, it takes a good hour To verify operation and make any adjustments.
    mattmia2
  • BillyOBillyO Member Posts: 186
    I wouldn't let him touch anything, your in for more of a headache
  • D107D107 Member Posts: 1,670
    Just get clear photos of every individual thing that's wrong and get from the owner a list of exactly what they are going to do and the parts they'll do it with and that all work will be done according to manufacturer's specs. and who specifically will do the work--hopefully not the original crew.
  • BDR529BDR529 Member Posts: 100
    Ypu, thats a character builder. With the mixer on the indirect figure the temp is set higher to double the capacity.

    Did you check for a T&P on the tank?

    if you can forget to check your joints you can forget a T&P.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,297
    BDR529 said:

    Ypu, thats a character builder. With the mixer on the indirect figure the temp is set higher to double the capacity.

    Did you check for a T&P on the tank?

    if you can forget to check your joints you can forget a T&P.

    Unless that tank has a separate tapping for one, i definitely don't see on in the top portion of the tank where the temp probe needs to be.
  • BDR529BDR529 Member Posts: 100
    Red tag it.
  • BillyOBillyO Member Posts: 186
    my goodness, what a disaster
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Member Posts: 2,540
    This reminds me of what seemed to be a new business model in the Chicago suburbs before I moved west.

    Young HVAC business owner hiring people with no experience and no trade school, trying to teach them everything in house, putting them in a truck and on the street doing maintenance for a few months before turning them loose on service calls and installations. What could go wrong?
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,297
    Sounds like the AV contractors we get now...
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,545
    You might try getting your home insurance company involved since they are the ones who will pay in a catastrophe. The company could more then likely fix that mess and still walk away with a few dollars. Give the commercial tech a look see. I think your better off letting the installer have a second wack at it.
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 572
    While you are at it, getting the specifics in writing and all, ask for the companies insurance certificate. It's a simple ask and all it takes is a phone call from the business owner to the insurance agent.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Member Posts: 923
    Experience is what you get when things don't go the way you planned!
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