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.

Real-person contact at Viessmann in R.I. these days? Stymied!

meerkat
meerkat Member Posts: 28
Has anyone been successful at contacting Viessmann's Rhode Island office lately? Their phone tree is a train-wreck and they have not responded to any messages sent to the [email protected] email on the website.

I'm a homeowner trying to find out whether a warranty/service ticket was opened for our Vitocell-W tank that was discovered to be leaking this February. Installing contractor attempted a fix that wasn't, and said in March that "photos and all the necessary information was sent to Viessmann." It has been total crickets since then. Follow-ups with contractor get only a "we're waiting to hear back from them and will let you know when we do." It is is now 3 months later, the tank is still leaking internally and the warranty keeps getting eaten away, month by month while nothing is being done to address the problem.

We just want to find out if Viessmann actually HAS anything on file regarding this issue. Calling their main # gives two options: "Homeowner" and "Contractor". Homeowner options are only for Sales (which produces 4 beeps and then disconnects the call) and Recall (which is voicemail.) Contractor option asks the caller to text them with the service ticket number which of course I don't have because....I am trying to find out if there even IS a service/warranty ticket on file!

Emailing them at the [email protected] address did not produce either an acknowledgement or any response. Tried this TWICE, epic fail both times.

Short of sending them a certified letter via snail mail and hoping that SOMEBODY opens it and doesn't file it in the trash.... does anyone here have an actual name or phone extension number for ANY living, breathing person at Viessmann?

Sorry for the rant but this has been beyond frustrating. We went with a Viessmann system (March 2017 install) of the Vitorond 100 burner + Vitocell 300 tank in large part because of their good reputation, especially for their tanks not leaking. Murphy's Law.......

Thanks for any help/direction/suggestions/names....

Comments

  • Even us contractors have to text them with questions and/or issues; no direct phone numbers are available for tech. support.

    Since you don't have a case number, text them with the serial number of your Vitocell indirect and see if a case has been opened yet. They are usually pretty good at resolving warranty issues. You can also try to get in touch with your local Viessmann rep.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    meerkatHVACNUT
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 17
    Ah, that explains it then. Good idea, I will try texting them just the serial number. Actually my initial phone call, last month and again today, was to try to speak to the regional rep for our area (downstate NY) but the phone tree doesn't have an option for that (unless one already knows the person's extension.)

    Back in 2017, when we had a burner filter leak develop shortly after the installation and could not get any response from voicemails or emails to the installer after trying for almost a month, I was able to speak Viessman's local rep and ask whether maybe the installer had gone out of business in the interim, lol. Rep was a nice fellow but I stupidly didn't write down his name or extension # at that time; I do remember him saying that he was once on the Olympic bobsled team, lol, which is no help nowadays and anyway he has probably moved on to bigger and better things since then.

    I will try the serial number text and see if that gets any response. That's the phone # ending in 5886, I assume?
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 17
    Well, this is interesting (and yes, the serial # did work, thanks so much for the help.)
    Tech service rep looked up the serial # and texted back that they have NO case open for our leaking Vitocell-W.
    So either the installing contractor was b.s.'ing us that the photos and all info had been transmitted to Viessmann, or they didn't do it correctly. Either way, 3 months wasted. Which basically leaves me with two choices:
    (1) Call that contractor, inform them that I have a text from Viessmann saying that NO case/claim has been opened, and say I want them to do that NOW (and I want them to give me the case number, when they do.)
    or
    (2) Write them off, call someone else in my area who services Viessmann and start the process over from scratch, with the new company.

    The existing contractor has not sent us a bill for this issue, by the way. There was one visit during which the tech basically mopped up water, did some unknown work, and told us to leave the lid off the tank for about a week "to dry things out, and see whether the problem comes back." Which we did, and obviously it did, so whatever he did then (early March) did not work. His second visit was only to take multiple photos which I was told would be sent to Viessmann. I would assume that, if I go with option #2, we will end up paying that contractor plus whoever we would bring in next. To be honest, my confidence level in the current guy (who was the installer) is now pretty much at zero after finding out that they have totally dropped the ball. Not sure whether I would trust anything they say/do at this point.
  • Option #2 sounds best to me; there are a lot of contractors listed in Rhode Island on the Viessmann website. Try to find someone that works on their own; no employees. 
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    meerkatGGross
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 17
    Actually we're in NY (on Long Island) and the Viessmann site lists only 4 contractors in our county. One has a 50/50 ratio of very good/very bad user reviews; the other is a radiant-heat specialist; and the third company, which is a general HVAC contractor, has good reviews and so they're the one I'll probably call. They do use crews though. There's a fourth company that has good reviews but our town isn't included in their "service area" list; they are a generalist also ("we service all makes") and, like the other option, has crews rather than being an owner-operator.

    To be honest, I've found that the owner/operator scenario has become very rare in our area, for anything. We had a great plumbing/heating guy like that but he retired five years ago. The plumber we use now is just himself and one employee but he gave up working on existing heating equipment 10 years ago. He does domestic plumbing and new gas-heat installs but that's it. No new oil-heat installs, and no servicing of systems. Oil heat servicing is pretty much a cr**shoot because the delivery companies roll a 'service contract' into the delivery contract. So the customer is stuck with whatever tech their oil delivery company sends to address any problems. Like Forrest Gump's famous box of chocolates. :/
  • It’s unusual for a V. indirect to leak, especially so soon. Do you only see the water under the lid?
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    meerkat
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,590
    What town are you in? 
    The way it's been with Viessmann (up until a couple months ago anyway), the tech texts tech support with model and serial number and brief description of the issue. Tech support will text a case number and that "Fred" has been notified and will contact the tech. Then the tech goes through the motions with "Fred" to verify cause and repair options.
    It's so fun I wanna do it every day. 🤪
    Its really awesome when your in a basement with no cell signal and nobody's around to give you the WiFi password. 
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,987
    Why not go to a supply house that sells Viessmann. They will know how to get hold of someone even if it is just a sales guy.

    Funny there always around for sale but not for service.

    INSIST the sale guy gets you some help
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbesmeerkat
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,278
    I know the V support guy in Colorado is one of the best. I think he works on a contract basis being a semi retired contractor. He does after hour and weekend support. He has considerable hands on experience. He is a one man show, so he may not be available instantly.

    I've found many tech support help just reads off the troubleshooting list. For any product, not just boilers.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    meerkat
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 22
    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes, we first noticed the problem in late February when we found 2 lines of rusty water running down the tank's exterior from top to bottom (the unfinished basement only has an outside entrance, so we don't go in there much during winter). Immediately called the installing contractor, his tech called back a few days later and showed up the following week. The space between the lid and the top of the (polystyrene?) insulation jacket was filled with water and the inside of the lid is rusting in several places; insulation jacket is stained orange bigtime as well. Tech was down there for about an hour doing whatever, then said he had "mopped up the top with rags as best he could" but that we should leave the lid off for a week or so "to let things dry out" before putting it back on. I checked it again a week after I put the lid back on, saw that water was already collecting on top of the insulation jacket again, and called them back. Tech showed up a day or so later but only to take photos with his phone "to send to Viessmann because obviously the tank isn't supposed to leak." That was on March 19th. When I hadn't heard from them by April 15th I called to ask what the status of the Viessmann claim was; contractor said everything was sent and they're waiting to hear back. In mid-May, still nothing and so I called again. Got the same answer "we're still waiting for them to get back to us, we'll let you know when they do." Finally last week I decided to find out if they actually had contacted Viessmann about this...and the rest you know.
    This is our fifth house since the 1970s and all of them have had the same kind of setup (oil hydronic heat + indirect HW tank) with equipment from various brands. Never had an issue like this with any of the tanks. I would assume that if the problem is being caused by a bad fitting, the tech should have been able to address it during that first visit. And now that I know what the procedure with Viessmann is, I'm wondering why he didn't do the text-to-tech-dept thing in March (which would have generated a case number) or at the very least, on the second visit when he took the pics.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 103
    Viessmann is pretty quick at getting warranty processed, usually 1-2 weeks. Someone is dragging feet
    meerkat
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 20
    Oh, it now gets even better. :|
    So, Friday afternoon I left a voicemail for the contractor saying I have a text from Viessmann saying there is NO case number in their system for our tank, and we are giving them until end of day today (Monday 6/20) to prove otherwise.
    Lo and behold, I get an email from them this morning saying
    "Still haven’t received replacement tank from Viessmann, I’ll call today and get back to you"
    I reply by asking for the Viessmann case number and/or name and phone extension of the Viessmann warranty rep. In reply to that, I get this:
    "I’m going through the supplier I bought it from"
    Which of course makes me go "What the (*&&%#!?!?" because now he's saying that he kicked the whole thing over to the supply house instead of contacting Viessmann himself...which would have been, you know, NORMAL procedure, right? Am I wrong about that? Doesn't Viessmann need to first approve a warranty claim ("Yes this is covered" or "No, sorry, not covered") before replacement parts can be obtained?

    Unbefreakin'lieveable....
  • If he's telling the truth, the supply house has not been diligent. The contractor should have been checking up with the supplier when he didn't hear back in a timely manner. And yes, perhaps the contractor should have been calling the manufacturer directly.

    Your V. indirect is guaranteed for the life of the original owner. Have them send you a new tank and find a different contractor to install it. You will have to pay for the labor.

    BTW, is there an expansion tank installed in your domestic system?
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    meerkat
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 103
    @meerkat
    What you described actually is the normal process. The contractor should generally go through the supplier for warranty. In most cases that would make the process go a lot smoother, though that does not seem to be your case.

    To answer your question about warranty. Generally for PARTS we do not require a case number to process warranty, if it is an issue where we think someone is just throwing parts at equipment I will go there myself to make sure we are doing the correct thing. For warranty of complete units (what you have) I do make sure the contractor has cleared everything with tech support (basically just determine the unit is leaking and not a fitting) Then they can come pick one up and replace it the same day. Keep in mind I have actually only dealt with one leaky Viessmann indirect and we had it replaced the same day under warranty.
    meerkat
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 20
    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes , there are actually two expansion tanks on the system right next to each other. I just went down there to note the sizes in order to respond to you:
    There's a grey Amtrol Extrol X-30 which is the one for the main system.
    There's also a smaller white Amtrol Therm-X-Span which is installed upside down (when looking at its label/printing) and is connected to the Vitocell tank.
    Now here's an interesting development: There is now a line of rusty water coming from around a small round rivet(?) that is in the front (label/printing side) of the Therm-X-Span expansion tank. This was definitely not there a month ago, or at any time previously, of that I am certain.
    We always keep a bucket below any expansion tank's relief valve pipe, just in case. It has a little more than an inch of water in it at the moment.
    Do my descriptions of the expansion tanks and the fact that there's now rusty water emerging from around the rivet on the Therm-X-Span suggest anything to you?

    (I totally have no problem with paying for labor costs in connection with an equipment replacement under warranty, that's S.O.P. for anything. It's the the getting-it-done aspect that's making us crazy, lol)
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 20
    @GGross, thank you so much for the clarification. Your explanation is extremely logical, and thank you for verifying that someone (preferably the contractor, who has actually seen the problem unit; or else the supply house if that's who he's referred it to) would need to first touch base with Viessmann tech support and not just arbitrarily say "you need to send us a new replacement tank because we say so".... I'm sure Viessmann isn't in the habit of just giving tanks away willy-nilly, lol
    Same day replacement... wow, I am so envious.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,278
    meerkat said:

    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes , there are actually two expansion tanks on the system right next to each other. I just went down there to note the sizes in order to respond to you:
    There's a grey Amtrol Extrol X-30 which is the one for the main system.
    There's also a smaller white Amtrol Therm-X-Span which is installed upside down (when looking at its label/printing) and is connected to the Vitocell tank.
    Now here's an interesting development: There is now a line of rusty water coming from around a small round rivet(?) that is in the front (label/printing side) of the Therm-X-Span expansion tank. This was definitely not there a month ago, or at any time previously, of that I am certain.
    We always keep a bucket below any expansion tank's relief valve pipe, just in case. It has a little more than an inch of water in it at the moment.
    Do my descriptions of the expansion tanks and the fact that there's now rusty water emerging from around the rivet on the Therm-X-Span suggest anything to you?

    (I totally have no problem with paying for labor costs in connection with an equipment replacement under warranty, that's S.O.P. for anything. It's the the getting-it-done aspect that's making us crazy, lol)

    A rivet on an expansion tank? Got a picture?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 21
    @hot_rod , Just took some pics this morning and discovered that what I thought was a rivet is actually a round "blister" coming through the tank's exterior, with the rust/corrosion surrounding and seeping through it. Which now means, I assume, that (a) the expansion tank is probably filled with water and (b) it's only a matter of time before that spot blows out completely?





    I took other pics as well; should I post them here, or start a separate new thread for comments on what is going on with the Viessmann tank?

  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 21
    Btw, I should have mentioned earlier that before we decided to choose the Viessmann tank, we had our water tested by an independent lab to see whether the chloride and sodium levels were within the Viessmann guidelines. So unless something about our public water supply has changed since early 2018, I don't think the issue is corrosion caused by the water itself.

    We also, because the house was built in 1960, had the chimney cleaned and a steel liner installed just before replacing the old system. Even though we knew we would not be going with a mod-con (house is small, only one zone for 1400 sf of living space; unheated unfinished basement, unheated 3/4 car garage... so a mod-con or outdoor reset would make no sense) we felt it was prudent to make sure the chimney was in as good condition as possible. Seemed a logical precaution to take.
  • Thanks for the photos. It seems as though the expansion tank has failed and is no longer protecting the system from thermal expansion and high pressure. It could have been the cause of the indirect failure. 
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    meerkat
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 22
    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes , so an indirect would show external evidence of failure before its expansion tank would? Because the exterior of the expansion tank looked perfectly normal in mid-May and even recently as three weeks ago (Memorial Day weekend) which was the last time anyone was in the basement before today. The contractor's tech examined the issue with the indirect during the first week of March, and then came back and took photos of the tank etc. about 2 weeks later.

    Wouldn't it have been standard procedure for a tech to inspect the expansion tank if the indirect was having problems related to the physical integrity of the unit? I would assume that would be something he should look at, especially since the cause of the indirect's leakage wasn't immediately apparent.
  • meerkat
    meerkat Member Posts: 28
    edited June 21
    I created a separate thread with pics of the Viessmann tank and the overall system, in case anyone wants to see and comment/hypothesize/etc.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/188584/leaking-viessman-vitocell-300-with-pics/p1?new=1
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,278
    It is wise, and code required in some cases, to have a thermal expansion tank installed properly sized and pressurized. The tank should have a T&P relief valve to protect the tank, 150 psi usually. Check that also 

    Most tanks are rated to 300 psi, twice the relief pressure, so the valve should dribble or discharge before the tank is over pressurized.

    Weld leaks are most common, and aggressive water is usually what gets as tanks.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,506
    Is the relief valve piped to the floor with sealed pipe? Could the relief valve be dripping in to the tank, possibly through a leaking joint in the discharge pipe?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,506
    meerkat said:



    "I’m going through the supplier I bought it from"
    Which of course makes me go "What the (*&&%#!?!?" because now he's saying that he kicked the whole thing over to the supply house instead of contacting Viessmann himself...which would have been, you know, NORMAL procedure, right? Am I wrong about that? Doesn't Viessmann need to first approve a warranty claim ("Yes this is covered" or "No, sorry, not covered") before replacement parts can be obtained?

    My job is av systems, we have a vendor that insists we go through them instead of going directly to the manufacturer for warranty claims. We have to remind them constantly if we want it submitted to the manufacturer. If we go directly to the manufacturer we submit a claim and the new part shows up a couple weeks later.
  • @meerkat Every technician is different and they may not have thought about checking the x-tank. Truth be told, I might have been so distracted by the leaking indirect that checking the x-tank wouldn’t have come to mind. 
    Out here, it really doesn’t matter if you contact the manufacturer or the supply house. If we have a defective product under warranty, we pick up a new one at the supply house and they charge us for it, to be credited back once you fill out a warranty return form and it gets OK’d by the manufacturer. Some manufacturers want you to return the defective unit to the supply house, some just want the boiler plate, some don’t want anything if it’s a reputable contractor. 
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
    GGross