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Amtrol Boiler Mate Problem

marty D_2
marty D_2 Member Posts: 35
Just wanted to pass this on to all you fellow techs to
hopefully save you some time in case you have not run into
this problem before. Had a insufficient hot water call the other day. Older couple, wife liked to take hot baths. They
had 9yr old Amtrol Boiler mate, 40 gal. She would get about
3 inches of water in the tub and then the temp would rapidly
start to drop. Hmmm. So, we yanked er out, pulled the coil.
coil did not look bad at all on outside, some deposit, but
city water they are on is basically mineral free. In the process of pulling the coil, somthing fell on the floor. It
looked like a 1" copper cap. Neither myself or the other tech had seen this before, pondered over it, but went on to
acid clean the coil. Put things all back together, very clean coil and sensor tube, and...yeah, same problem. Now we
are annoyed and puzzled. Could that harmless cap with the hole in the solid end be something critical. Well, to make long story short, my partner had a brain storm, said he bet it went on the inlet port on the bottom of the tank to divert the cold water down towards the bottom of the tank so
it would not be forced up the sides of the tank and mix with
the hot. Looked like this part was held in place by a small plastic insert, which was gone. We stripped some insulation off a piece of 14g wire, wired it in place.....problem fixed. Looked to me like an after the fact engineering fix.
Not sure if it was on a limited number of tanks but if you ever seen one fall out when servicing an amtrol boiler mate, its your gremlin.



  • B. Tice
    B. Tice Member Posts: 206

    thanks Marty.
  • More Boilermate Problems.

    Is the Boilermate™ incompatible with Monitor's MZ condensing boiler?

    I've got another problem that has yet to be resolved with an Amtrol Boilermate™ (Classic Series 41 gal. tank.) The "smart control" thermister has failed on this one job twice within 6 months. I don't need any of the features that the smart control offers as I'm heating the water with an MZ condensing boiler.

    The Amtrol was bought at Home Depot (by owner) and we all know how much help they are. When the unit failed the last time, Amtrol stepped up to the plate and provided me with a brand new smart control and thermister (free of charge) which after only 6 months of service has failed yet again causing a no DHW or heat call last night.

    I spoke with Monitor last night and I'm told that their 24 volt transformer is a 40VA standard setup just like any other which makes incompatibility improbable. The problem is that the thermister opens and closes the DHW control circuit contacts within the smart control (between the two orange wires) very quickly. On-off-on-off therefore the MZ will not fire because of this quick on-off cycle. I've got the smart control (aquastat) bypassed for now so they can have hot water and heat (when they untwist the DHW control priority-circuit wires) but need to find out why this problem is occurring and impliment a PERMANENT solution.

    I could delete the Amtrol smart control all together and use a typical aquastat but, the question remains why is this happening to me? This job is very far away from us and I'm sick and tired of equipment failures that have nothing to do with my installation.

    HELP !!!

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  • Tundra
    Tundra Member Posts: 93

    Gary, do you have a power problem? The standard Amtrol aquastat is interchangeable (I would expect others to be also) with the Smart Control and might be less problematic if you are at a site with power problems. One of my customers was having problems with circulators. It turned out that he was the last house on a transformer that was too small. He would normally have good power but when there was a large draw upline his voltage would drop significantly. Problem was found by luck and the cure was an additional transformer.
  • Tundra

    No power problems here. The entire wiring system was just updated and checked out by a licensed electrician. The owners have had no (low power) electrical device problems in the house since they bought the home 3 years ago.

    I'm told that when using a 3-way zone valve, damage to the Smart Control can occur if the same 24V transformer is used to power both the valve and Smart Control. This can result in a chattering sound at the BoilerMate and can eventually damage the internal relay and/or power supply. 3-Way (Taco-type) valves require that a separate transformer or a 120V source be used to provide power to the black and white wires on the Smart Control.

    I'm powering the control with 110 volts using the black & white wires on the Smart Control. The 24 volt priority DHW control circuit is in series with the two orange wires on the Smart Control. It IS wired properly.

    Is there a standard Amtrol aquastat that is easily interchangeable with what I've got? I don't need (I'm not using) ANY of the features of the Smart Control.

    What's going on here? This has become a HUGE waste of my time.

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  • WOW ! ~! !!!! Amtrol really comes through !!!

    A couple of Amtrol factory technicians came out to my client's jobsite this afternoon (not too long after receiving my call) and took care of the problem immediately .

    Thank you Ken Cerpovicz at Amtrol. You do your job so very well and I really look forward to understanding why this anomaly happened.

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  • Steve Paul
    Steve Paul Member Posts: 83
    Amtrol fix

    Marty, you made the correct repair. The part that fell off is the cold water inlet diffuser. It directs the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. Without it in place the cold water will shoot towards the top of the tank and short circuit directly to the hot water outlet. Similar to a tank type water heater with a broken or missing dip tube.
  • Anthony Calia
    Anthony Calia Member Posts: 3
    cold water inlet diffuser

    Last night my dhw turned brown. Cold was fine. I checked my Amtrol WH7 (installed 1988) and heard a loud pinging inside the tank. I ran the hot water until it ran clear and the sound continued.

    Could this be the cold water inlet diffuser that has come loose and shook up the sludge in the tank? When I read the root message it started to sound like this could be my problem.

  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    it could be Anthony

    The give away, is do you run out of hot water quickly ?

    This is a common problem with older Amtrols. If the water is clear and you are not running out, it may just be the coil was sludged up and you had some break free. If the diffuser has broken off the cold water will shoot to the top of the tank and you'll go cold rather quickly. It can be remedied as the guys above did.

    Check the top of the tank near the relief valve, it should be cold. If you feel hot around the top of the tank, near the relief valve, the liner has failed and the water is soaking into the insulation. Only a matter of time before it rust through the steel tank. Another common problem with these tanks.

    It might be time for a new tank.

    If so, think about something with a stainless steel tank and life time warranty.


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  • Anthony Calia
    Anthony Calia Member Posts: 3
    Noise is gone!

    Thanks, Scott, for your help.

    I took my long morning shower with plenty of hot water. I too was wondering if I would see that symptom based on the message describing the problem. Maybe this is not it.

    It took about 45 minutes of running to clear the water last night, but today it is fine. Also, the sound is not there! This was not something you had to look for, you could hear it easily outside the boiler room.

    Maybe it was the sludge itself that was rolling around the tank, and has now dissolved?

    Also, I felt the top of the tank. It is a little warmer than the sides, but not at all hot. I would expect it to be warmer because it is in contact with the outlet pipe which is very hot of course.

    Thanks again, Scott,
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884

    Keep an eye on the heat at the top of the tank. Its an insulated tank and should not have ANY heat loss. The top of the tank near the outlet should NOT be hot.

    Glad to help


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