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Best new boilers ?

I have been fortunate to get some excellent help on troubleshooting my current boiler. Unfortunately it’s still not up and running so I want to research some
options should I need to get a new unit. What brands should I be looking at or even what type of boiler.. our current one is a cast iron slant Fin victory Model. I’ll post a pic of the size. 

Comments

  • andrewkelly1983
    andrewkelly1983 Member Posts: 31

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,875
    Unless it is leaking or cracked it should be a repairable boiler, doesn't look so old?

    Are you considering another cast iron boiler? I don't know one brand is head and shoulders above another. A lot of the cast companies have combined or merged over the years and all that changes is the stickers on the side.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,997
    Your problem is some sort of simple control problem. Anyone that attempts to replace your boiler that can't solve your current problem will create much bigger problems than you currently have.
  • andrewkelly1983
    andrewkelly1983 Member Posts: 31
    Rationally I can understand that it is likely something simple to an experienced individual. I’m hoping Wednesday the hvaC company finds out what it is. My friend is extremely mechanically talented but doesn’t know boilers so we were stumped . Emotionally I’m just sort of done with this system. Every year something fails then we are without heat or hot water. My wife is getting pissed.. no hot water since last Thurs… I’m fine but you know how that goes… haha
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,668
    The manual shows sequence of operation, diagnostic codes, and troubleshooting. If your friend has and knows how to use an electrical meter, it shouldn't be too hard. If the problem is on the gas side if things, I'd wait for a qualified tech. 
    HydroNiCK
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,693
    edited September 18
    Why isn't your boiler up and running? I looked at your previous post. What have you done with the recommendations on that post? Is it still a no spark situation? Boilers aren't cheap, installation isn't cheap. Unless you're rich or have a compelling reason to replace the boiler, I would fix it. Cast iron boilers are a lot more forgiving than a mod/con boilers and can suffer neglect better. This may be like replacing your car because the headlight is burned out.

    Did you take any voltage reading as suggested by Ed and others? Think of the voltage path as a train. It comes from the wall receptical (115V ac) to the aquastat where the voltage is separated in to High Voltage (115Vac) and into low voltage (24 Vac). The 115Vac runs the circulator and the induced draft motor (Fan) thru a separate relay that is turned on by the 24Vac safety circuit and then the 24Vac runs to the thermostat, then back to the aquastat then thru the boiler safety circuit to the igniter which turns on the spark and opens the gas valve. If you don't have 24Vac at the igniter, then no spark. If you don't have 24Vac at the igniter look at the safety circuit. A bad safety device, then no spark. If the safety circuit is intact look at the aquastat specifically the aquastat relay and transformer. If the fan runs, then the transformer and the aquastat relay is ok.

    If the fan turns on then the only devices to look at are the Negative Pressure Switch, the Draft Inducer motor (fan), the rollout switch, the igniter (new), the spark cable (new), and the spark assembly (new). Some rollout switches have a red reset button between the tabs that need to be pressed to reset the switch and some are thermo-fuses that burnout and need to be replaced.

    Remove the hose from the negative pressure switch to the induced draft motor. Cut off the burnt end. Take a small wire and push it thru the connection on the draft inducer motor where the hose connects to make sure that it is not blocked with debris.
    You want to make sure that the fan is pulling negative pressure. Then jump the two wire connected to the negative pressure switch with the fan running. Of course you could just measure the voltage at the igniter's 24V terminals with the fan running, too.
    That's for starters. The only thing not changed is the negative pressure switch and rollout switch. You changed the igniter and the pilot assembly. Those are the only three thing down from the fan relay and the fan is running, meaning you have 24Vac at that point.
    109A_5
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 276
    Hello @andrewkelly1983,
    I totally agree with @HomerJSmith and I understand your "Emotionally I’m just sort of done with this system." And I'm not trying to rub salt into a wound. If I don't troubleshoot something as fast or efficiently as I think I should have there is an emotional penalty. However I look at any troubleshooting situation as a Treasure Hunt, and I want that Treasure, so I persist until the puzzle is solved. I'd really check that Roll-Out Switch, you could be so close, stick with it.

    I'd rather have your older boiler than ANY new one, my boiler is about 53 years old as near as I can tell. My DHW is a common gas fired water heater tank, about 16 years old.

    As far as " I’m hoping Wednesday the hvaC company finds out what it is. " I hope you are getting a different Tech than you had before.

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • andrewkelly1983
    andrewkelly1983 Member Posts: 31
    I really do appreciate all the help that has been provided. Im a little
     more calm about the situation now and am going to itemize what I have done and what else could be wrong when I contact the HVAC company tomorrow. The tech they have lined up for Wednesday is apparently experienced with older units so that will be a plus. Im going to basically get the boiler set up as it when it stopped working . I’ll have my new parts on hand if they find it’s something else I can always return them… 
    I am confused why newer units are thought of so poorly..? I agree there are other things that are not made as well now.. I have a 1990 direct drive ski boat that’s more reliable then most new boats.. 
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 276
    Hello @andrewkelly1983,

    I am confused why newer units are thought of so poorly..?

    Probably the same or similar issues as your ski boat, just a different industry. My opinion, new Cast Iron boilers don't seem to last nearly as long as older ones did. The new High Tech units require more maintenance and when they have a High Tech or some other bizarre or odd problem any money you saved on fuel you sped on getting the thing repaired and they don't seem to last either. I would keep a Cast Iron boiler until the heat exchanger fails. I'm sure others won't agree me. And some folks just want 'New' and if that's how they want to spend their money, fine with me.

    Sadly, I think the Tech you got before was not real skilled in troubleshooting that type of problem, you did better than he did with getting replacement parts.

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,633
    edited September 19
    After you replace the boiler and you experience the same problem... where will you look next?

    You need a different service tech that understands control systems. Ask the local supply house manager or guy at the counter who they might use if they had the same problem. They know which company has the smart technicians.

    if you still cant find someone and you MUST DIY then...

    1. You need to purchase an electric multi meter. get a cheep one from Walmart or hardware store https://www.walmart.com/ip/Electrical-Digital-Multimeter-LCD-Voltmeter-Volt-OHM-Tester-AC-DC-Multi-Meter/194352051?athcpid=194352051&athpgid=AthenaItempage&athcgid=null&athznid=si&athieid=v0&athstid=CS055&athguid=eSk-L-NXbElVieZjzQYZWlHBnVyRXQq3qbOR&athancid=null&athposb=0&athena=true
    2. You also need some jumper wires to make some testshttps://www.walmart.com/ip/Unique-Bargains-10Pcs-Dual-ended-Test-Leads-Alligator-Crocodile-Clip-Jumper-Wire-45cm/127016122
    3. Once you have all the necessary tools assembled. Screw driver, Meter, Jumper wires.
    4. Determine if you have 24 volts at the terminals B1 and B2 on the L8148 control. I believe you do because the B1 and B2 wires are needed to power up the blower motor in the wiring diagram that @109A_5 provided. set the thermostat to call for heat. set the meter to read 200 Volts scale (or anything higher)
    5. with the power onn and the thermostat calling for heat place one test lead on B1 ant the other test lead on B2. The meter should read something near 23 to 27 volts.
    6a. If you don't get 24 volts you found your problem is in L8148 control or the Thermostat / Thermostat wire connected to T and T terminals on the control
    6b. If you do get 24 volts then you can continue.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

    PC7060MikeAmann
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,633
    edited September 19
    Now you can use that 24 Volts to test the spark control.
    7. Turn the power off and do the following.
    8. Remove the yellow and red wire from #5 and #6 on the S8600
    9. Place a jumper from the B1 on the L8148 on one end and to the 24V #6 terminal on the S8600.
    10. Place a Jumper from B2 on the L8148 and the 24V GRD #5 terminal on the S8600. Then turn on the power and a call for heat
    11. This should do 2 things on that S8600. The spark should happen and you should get 24 volts at PV #3 and MV/PV #2. If you don't get the spark the control is bad or a wire is misplaced.
    12. Once you get the spark. Then assemble the pilot assembly and the spark / sense wire and see if you still get a spark doing the same jumper wire test.

    If you get this far and you do or DO NOT get a spark. then message me for more details on the next steps.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

    MikeAmann
  • andrewkelly1983
    andrewkelly1983 Member Posts: 31
    Just wanted to briefly follow up on this.. a knowledgeable tech came yesterday and got the system up and running.. it looks like they replaced the roll out switch. The service manager called And said that a high temp safety switch was also tripped meaning that the unit was on the cusp of overheating.. 

    He couldn’t explain why this would have happened.. What the unit was working intermittently before it stopped sparking completely, I did have the front lower panel only partially on.. could that have caused the unit to nearly overheat.. I’m confused 
  • The rollout switch tripping could be an indication of a dirty heat exchanger. Have the dry side of the heat exchanger cleaned if it happens again.

    The safety high limit could be a few things: Not enough flow through the heat exchanger to pick up all the heat being generated, a defective operating limit.........Keep an eye on it and if it happens again, you will have to dig a little deeper.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 276
    Hello @andrewkelly1983,

    Just wanted to briefly follow up on this.. a knowledgeable tech came yesterday and got the system up and running.. it looks like they replaced the roll out switch. The service manager called And said that a high temp safety switch was also tripped meaning that the unit was on the cusp of overheating..

    With looking at the only documentation I can find that is close to your unit, and your pictures, I suspect the Roll-Out switch that the Tech changed and the "high temp safety switch" the service manager referred to is the same thing. I don't see any other safety devices that would cause those symptoms in the documentation.

    Operating the unit with the covers off may have cause the Roll-Out Switch failure. Since the Roll-Out Switch failed the Tech should have inspected the system for obstructions. If you told him you operated it with the covers off and he accepted that as a reasonable explanation he may have skipped an inspection. Did he do a combustion analysis and check the draft ?

    Other information if you want a spare Roll-Out Switch.

    Slant/Fin Roll-out Safety Switch Part number 440720

    supplyhouse.com - 440-720-000 is temporarily unavailable, Unavailable Date June 14, 2022
    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Slant-Fin-440-720-000-Rollout-Switch-for-Victory-VH-VHS-VHL-and-VHLS-90-120

    Rollout Switch for Victory VH, VHS, VHL, and VHLS 90 & 120
    Brand: Slant/Fin
    SKU: 440-720-000

    Some available on eBay,
    440-720-000 Slant Fin Boiler 128C Rollout Switch OEM 440-720-000
    And other listings.

    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 3,633
    …and you started this discussion with “BEST NEW BOILER “

    If your car had a flat tire, would you consider jacking up the gas tank cap, and sliding a new car under it?  I’m happy you were able to have Heating Help contribute to the successful conclusion without the need for a complete new boiler.  
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey.
    Services first oil burner at age 16
    P/T trainer for EH-CC.org

  • andrewkelly1983
    andrewkelly1983 Member Posts: 31
    Thanks for all the help and assistance! This is a great forum with mechanical savvy folks!
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 290
    I don't think your out of the woods yet. A rollout switch is a safety device. Meaning if your rollout switch has tripped, something is happening to cause an unsafe situation. Like a flame or excessive heat rolling out of the front of the burner caused by a plugged heat exchanger, plugged chimney, over-firing, etc.

    Having looked at the installation manual there are multiple vent options available. You should carefully look at the vent system and make sure that it is installed per manufacturers instructions. Not installing it according to manufacturers instructions could cause an unsafe situation, which a flame rollout switch is designed to prevent, but not all conditions.

    You might have had a defective rollout switch but in my opinion that is the last option to use. i would not guess at what the cause is. you could also wait until it fails again but that in my mind is a dangerous situation. rollout switches are one time use devices for a reason.
    EdTheHeaterMan