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Returning to the WALL after a long long time away

GB142
GB142 Member Posts: 8
It was back in 2004/5 that I first found this site and after extensive research and months of reading many many posts, many by Hotrod, I forged ahead with a retrofit heating system of our older home.

Our basement was repoured with Pex in the floor. It hardly gets used, because the ceiling will have heat leaks from the 4" plenum space and suspended pex with aluminum fins. I kept a few of the baseboard heaters and they run at the same temp as the suspended pex.

Here is my install and a few of the issues I now have.
1) GB142-45 still running but needing some attention. Replacing the BC10 controler since my temperature setting "dial" snapped off this week. Ordering entire unit... plug and play. I have a small leak around the heat exchanger on both sides of the unit. Looking into this next week with my service tech. I opened up the unit today to get a look at the heat exchangers... I have been remiss cleaning them, but they honestly didn't look too bad. I just took the top cover off and cleaned it from above.
  1. 1) (a) The deposits on the fins can be taken off with a credit card using control and good judgment. I got a lot of the deposits off. However, I have had a bottle of baby oil (mineral oil) sitting next to my unit for years. I had read this can be used to clean the heat exchangers. Do I just spray it on and saturate staying clear of the igniter then closing it all up and turning it on?
  2. 1)(b) I occasionally need to fill the system with water due to low pressure. I have never found a leak, although my pressure tank had to be replaced due to it being waterlogged. Nevertheless, I must still add some water every 4-6months to get the pressure back up the 21psi. I NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE ADD MORE GLYCHOL TO ENSURE I DON'T DILUTE THE MIXTER TOO MUCH AND CAUSE CORROSION?
  3. 1)(c) I have a few leaks in my connections around my GB142. These need to be addressed this summer by a service tech that can replace and repair.


2) Boilermate 70 Gallon Indirect Hot water heater. I have well water with iron need to clean the heating fins of the Boilermate with 4 gallons of vinegar every few years. The internal aluminum fins get covered with ferrous slime or fuzz which causes the GB142 to not be able to read the temperature. So the unit will cycle on and off until I get the Boilermate tank clean. Once clean, the Buderus usually works.

I would like to keep my Buderus going for as long as we can. I live in Minnesota and have an appliance insurance service contract. If the part is available from Buderus and it is needed, I can have it installed and paid for. The issue I mainly run into is the service techs from this outfit lack experience with HE mod/cond boilers.

Are they any preventative maintenance parts I should contemplate replacing now versus waiting?

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    You need to be very diligent with fluid quality in aluminum block boilers, from my experience. The Ph needs to be spot on, if the manufacturer sent an inhibitor along with the boiler it needs to go into a well cleaned system, with spot on, quality fill water within their recommended parameters.

    That fluid should be tested yearly and boosted as required.
    That same quality water or fluid will also be kind to every "wetter" component in your system.

    Welcome back.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • GB142
    GB142 Member Posts: 8
    Thanks Hotrod!

    Glad to see you as active today as you were back when I first joined.

    I remember reading many your posts of yours which helped me to design my system. I can even remember the aluminum heating elements that would staple to the floor from underneath!

    Lots of HE Mod/Con units today compared to when I did my system. Looking forward to staying more in the flow moving forward.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    GB142 said:

    Thanks Hotrod!

    Glad to see you as active today as you were back when I first joined.

    I remember reading many your posts of yours which helped me to design my system. I can even remember the aluminum heating elements that would staple to the floor from underneath!

    Lots of HE Mod/Con units today compared to when I did my system. Looking forward to staying more in the flow moving forward.

    The people in the boiler business tell me something like 65 brands and models of mod cons on the market currently! Lots of consolidation in the industry also. In some cases 4 or 5 brands under one ownership or holding company.

    Evidence tends to show parts availability for anything over 15- 17 years old can and will be a challenge. Many of the control modules inducer fans, etc are obsoleted after 15 or so years. In some cases the original manufacturers are no longer in business. I always kept an entire spare boiler in my shop that covered most of my customers systems once I settled in on a well supported brand.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    The flue adapter has failed as well (metal, corrosion); not a cake job to replace. Leaks at the low loss header are semi common. There’s a few generations of the LLH, the newer the model the less likely you will have issues. 

    Igniter and flame rod are high wear 

    plastic trap is good to have

    Heat exchanger gaskets are good to have - they don’t need to be replaced if they are still nice and flexible but eventually they fail. 

    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GB142
    GB142 Member Posts: 8
    edited March 29
    GW, you state this above:
    "The flue adapter has failed as well (metal, corrosion); not a cake job to replace. Leaks at the low loss header are semi common. There’s a few generations of the LLH, the newer the model the less likely you will have issues."

    I just looked that part(s) up. In my pictures, what is it in my pictures that tell you that the "Flue Adapter" has failed?

    Also, could the leaks along the front and right side be from a failing HX "top" Gasket? I replace the one that was on it. It had a few odd-looking creases in it. I have not seen any "new" looking residue along my HX in front, but then again, it has not been running at higher temps due to warmer weather. Could the residue be from a leaking HX. The right side did have a slight glycol odor.

    I have a service plan (Insurance Plan) that covers many parts on my system. I have attached a sheet listing my coverage. If I can determine exactly which parts are in need of replacement, there is a high probability that my plan will cover it.

    The issue to date, has been that the service techs are not experts with HE systems, let along a GB142 which is no longer made. I can't fault them, because I have one of the few around these parts in Minnesota. I also didn't realize that the GB142 was discontinued and now seems may only have limited parts available.

    Could my HX be leaking? I have seen some brand new GB142 HXs still available in Germany




  • GB142
    GB142 Member Posts: 8
    edited March 29
    The flue adapter has failed as well (metal, corrosion); not a cake job to replace. Leaks at the low loss header are semi common. There’s a few generations of the LLH, the newer the model the less likely you will have issues.


    Excuse my ignorance, but what in my pictures makes you think my flue adapter has failed?

    My GB142 does not appear to be leaking on either of the right or left side of the HX now. Perhaps it is due to the lower operating temps?? I run a radiant system, so unless I am heating my domestic hot water, my GB142 rarely operates above 140F.

    I have a service plan, which covers many items ( see attached sheet ) However, the techs are not experts with HE Boilers, let alone the Buderus. Based on what I have coverage, are there any items I can assume should be replaced given it's age.

    I have seen new HXs for sale, but they would need to be sent from Germany.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,083
    I was just blabbering, didn’t see the pictures. 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • GB142
    GB142 Member Posts: 8
    edited March 31
    Could someone (HOTROD?) give me an opinion on what may be the cause of the leakage from my HX, that would be great. Could it just be my silicon seals or is the a tell-tale sign of a failing HX?

    My GB142-45 was installed in 2006 and I paid $4300 just for the boiler back then! Based on the opinions and reviews of the GB142 which I have read, I would say I on the far right of the bell curve. Some folks had failed units after 5-7 years.

    Most if not all of my Boiler electronics are covered under my service plan at no charge. I have never paid to date. Anything that requires them to open my system for repairs like a bad valve or HX is not covered.

    Buderus does sell an "updated" version of my HX which is being carried by an Online Supplier for $1100 plus tax. The new part number is 7738005272. If my HX is in fact failing, am I better off replacing it with the new HX or scrap it, and get a brand new boiler?

    Opinions, please.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    edited March 31
    GB142 said:

    Could someone (HOTROD?) give me an opinion on what may be the cause of the leakage from my HX, that would be great. Could it just be my silicon seals or is the a tell-tale sign of a failing HX?

    My GB142-45 was installed in 2006 and I paid $4300 just for the boiler back then! Based on the opinions and reviews of the GB142 which I have read, I would say I on the far right of the bell curve. Some folks had failed units after 5-7 years.

    Most if not all of my Boiler electronics are covered under my service plan at no charge. I have never paid to date. Anything that requires them to open my system for repairs like a bad valve or HX is not covered.

    Buderus does sell an "updated" version of my HX which is being carried by an Online Supplier for $1100 plus tax. The new part number is 7738005272. If my HX is in fact failing, am I better off replacing it with the new HX or scrap it, and get a brand new boiler?

    Opinions, please.

    I don't have a lot of experience with that boiler. From what I have read the early generation aluminum block boilers had some growing pains. Some failures were related to water quality, some was the machine work and various casting plug. Inadequate condensate removal was another problem.

    Is it worth a rebuilding a 15 year old boiler? Good question. I'd wonder how much longer repair parts like motors, gas valves, circuit boards, etc. will be available, regardless of who pays for them :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
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