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Can I clean the Triangular Tube PE110 venturi?

hellovn
hellovn Member Posts: 17
edited March 8 in Gas Heating
Hi All,

I have an existing triangular tube PE110 boiler. I used to get the error E02 once or twice a year but got the E02 error every day, a few days, or a few weeks recently. After I pressed the reset button, the boiler would start to work again immediately for a few days or weeks.

I had a few bad experiences with some HVAC technicians before. The technician can fix the issue if it is not a random one. If it is a random issue, they just second guess to replace all the parts and it costs me at least 500$ (parts + labour) for each part. It used to cost me more than 1.4K for another issue.

After doing some research, the venturi in my boiler has a lot of soots and it seems to be the root cause. I also found out that the exhaust pipe is lower than the intake pipe (although they are 10ft apart but I could see the exhaust air to get close to the intake vent from the camera). Here is the photo:




My question is: could I just clean my venturi before replacing it? I searched in this forum and could not find any similar topics. The manufacturer suggests to replace it. I plan to order the part and replace it myself but it seems I have to do a combustion analyzer and it is not cheap to buy that tool :(

Thank you.

Comments

  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,783
    edited March 8
    Does the random 02 pop up on windy days ? The termination location looks like a pocket for catching wind, creating high pressure at the termination . A tee rather then an el may work better...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,043
    While it is possible that you can clean a venturi I implore you to consider that the venturi is merely a symptom of the problem, not the source itself.

    If you were to access the venturi and the material feels "rough" in any way, then the venturi is most likely toast, done for even. You have soot building up in the venturi because the flue gas from your exhaust is going back into the boiler, getting sucked up through the venturi.

    You seem to actually have a pretty good handle on what is really going on here, well done on that btw! there are unfortunately no shortcuts to fixing the problem, the first one being that the intake is higher than the exhaust, the next one being that there is potential for flue gas recirculation, and the last problem being a sooted venturi, which implies it may be perforated and needs to be replaced.

    You do have the correct idea that when replacing the venturi you will need to do a combustion test to tune the combustion to spec, or you will have worse problems down the road. You need to have the venting fixed before you tune the combustion.
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,002
    edited March 8
    Most instruction manuals tell you to pipe your terminations away from inside corners of buildings and/or structures.

    Do you remember the plastic bag scene in American Beauty? Flue gases will just eddy and swirl around instead of being swept away and could be sucked in by the air intake.


    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    GGrossSuperTech
  • hellovn
    hellovn Member Posts: 17
    GGross said:

    While it is possible that you can clean a venturi I implore you to consider that the venturi is merely a symptom of the problem, not the source itself.

    If you were to access the venturi and the material feels "rough" in any way, then the venturi is most likely toast, done for even. You have soot building up in the venturi because the flue gas from your exhaust is going back into the boiler, getting sucked up through the venturi.

    You seem to actually have a pretty good handle on what is really going on here, well done on that btw! there are unfortunately no shortcuts to fixing the problem, the first one being that the intake is higher than the exhaust, the next one being that there is potential for flue gas recirculation, and the last problem being a sooted venturi, which implies it may be perforated and needs to be replaced.

    You do have the correct idea that when replacing the venturi you will need to do a combustion test to tune the combustion to spec, or you will have worse problems down the road. You need to have the venting fixed before you tune the combustion.


    Thank you. I just made the exhaust pipe to be higher than the intake. Do you think it is necessary to clean (or replace) the venturi now or just wait to see if the error still happens?
  • hellovn
    hellovn Member Posts: 17

    Most instruction manuals tell you to pipe your terminations away from inside corners of buildings and/or structures.

    Do you remember the plastic bag scene in American Beauty? Flue gases will just eddy and swirl around instead of being swept away and could be sucked in by the air intake.


    Thank you. This is exactly what I saw today when I extended and increased the exhaust pipe outlet height. The wind just pushes the flue smoke down and swirl them too. I may have to re-route them 10ft from the corner as in your diagram. Thank you again.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,043
    @hellovn

    Can you send a picture of the venturi if possible? I have some example pics of a bad one from a similar model boiler, notice the roughness on the venturi material where it would be visible before removing it, upon removal we find the rear to be perforated, which does not allow a proper fuel/air ratio, resulting in poor combustion and tons of CO. This particular one also howled like a demon, which was the reason for the initial call for service.








    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • hellovn
    hellovn Member Posts: 17
    Big Ed_4 said:

    Does the random 02 pop up on windy days ? The termination location looks like a pocket for catching wind, creating high pressure at the termination . A tee rather then an el may work better...

    I live in a coastal city so we have strong winds throughout the year. The strong wind and snow storm seems to happen more and more this winter (like every week).
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,783
    I can see the debris collecting in that corner ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 833
    Its not 10' from the corner. It's 3' min. If you move the exhaust further away from corner, be aware of proximity to the window above.
  • hellovn
    hellovn Member Posts: 17
    GGross said:

    @hellovn

    Can you send a picture of the venturi if possible? I have some example pics of a bad one from a similar model boiler, notice the roughness on the venturi material where it would be visible before removing it, upon removal we find the rear to be perforated, which does not allow a proper fuel/air ratio, resulting in poor combustion and tons of CO. This particular one also howled like a demon, which was the reason for the initial call for service.








    I will try to take closer photos of the venturi. I extend the exhaust pipe higher and it seems to be working fine in the last 3 days. The boiler used to be working for 2 weeks before I had to reset it every day. I will post an update in the next few days too.




  • hellovn
    hellovn Member Posts: 17
    It has been working fine since the last month after I extended the exhaust pipe. I think I have to wait until next Jan or Feb when the weather is a lot colder.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,120
    If you have a combustion analyzer, drill a hole in The intake pipe near the boiler. That may tell you if you are pulling exhaust gas into the boiler
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Derheatmeister
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 7,829
    I see no reason why you cant clean anything. It is your venturi, so you can do what you want. I think the better question is "After I clean this venturi, Can I use it?
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,533
    hot_rod said:

    If you have a combustion analyzer, drill a hole in The intake pipe near the boiler. That may tell you if you are pulling exhaust gas into the boiler

    Agree...Or,. You can just put a low level Carbon monoxide monitor in the cabinet ;)
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,533
    hellovn said:

    Hi All,

    I have an existing triangular tube PE110 boiler. I used to get the error E02 once or twice a year but got the E02 error every day, a few days, or a few weeks recently. After I pressed the reset button, the boiler would start to work again immediately for a few days or weeks.

    I had a few bad experiences with some HVAC technicians before. The technician can fix the issue if it is not a random one. If it is a random issue, they just second guess to replace all the parts and it costs me at least 500$ (parts + labour) for each part. It used to cost me more than 1.4K for another issue.

    After doing some research, the venturi in my boiler has a lot of soots and it seems to be the root cause. I also found out that the exhaust pipe is lower than the intake pipe (although they are 10ft apart but I could see the exhaust air to get close to the intake vent from the camera). Here is the photo:




    My question is: could I just clean my venturi before replacing it? I searched in this forum and could not find any similar topics. The manufacturer suggests to replace it. I plan to order the part and replace it myself but it seems I have to do a combustion analyzer and it is not cheap to buy that tool :(

    Thank you.

    Based on the picture supplied the paint on the setscrew to the ventury indicates that no adjustement ever took place on it ...I would recommend reventing this app[iance and dailing it in with a combustion analyzer...
    I know that it can be difficult to install combustion air and exhaust systems on older homes so i will try to be less opionated since i do not know which hurdles the original installer had to overcome.
    I our area this would have never passed inspection for multipal code violations and failures to adhere to the manufacturers installation instructions.
    As others have also stated you may have Exhaust Gas Recirculation going on.
    EGR on a boiler such as you have can cause many problems such as the E02 that are seeing.
    Some of these issues can be temporary remedied by cleaning the flame sensing/ignition rods but will continue to surface and become worse as time goes on.
    On systems with EGR we have seen issues such as blower/control and wiring failures due to the corrosive properties of the exhaust gas in the cabinet.
    Hope this helps you understand.