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Lack of support from Navien 10th callback in 14 months

We made thid mistake of installing about 12 Navien ch boilers during 2010 and and 2011. They have been a NIGHTMARE. A 'bad batch' of LP CH boilers where sent to new england in 2011, they had faulty gps switches and combustion chambers resulting in at least 2 dozen call backs for us. In one home we went through THREE boilers in order to get one that did not have this factory defect. Naviens labor pay is next to nothing and they honestly could care less about our troubles. They are disorganized when it comes to call history and never have the correct information, even though you are registered on every call to them.

Fast forward to today. We have a customer who is on her second ch boiler. The internal pressure switch is going haywire and causing the boiler water feed solenoid to open and it over pressurizes the boiler causing the 30 lbs relief to trip. Ok easy enoug, we will get a new one locally.... WRONG no one keeps parts we need to wait until Monday.

Second problem.... the flat plate is feeding water very slowly back into the boiler side of things (this is a combi boiler) so I also said to please send me a new flat plate. They refused, saying unless I see water coming out of the flat plate potable drain at a good clip when the potable side is de pressurized they will not send a new flat plate! I have seen hundreds of tankless coils, flat plates, and indirects have pin holes navien claims my diagnosis does not make sense! I asked to speak to the supervisor which got me nowhere even after I explained to him our constant troubles with this clients home as well as others. They did not even have any records of us ever even changing the 6 month old boiler even though they sent it!

Im sorry dan if this crosses any lines, but I am just so fed up with Navien I had to do something

If anyone would like more information I can be reached at Ray @


  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385
    word of mouth

    is usually the best advertisement. Sounds like you have put the ball in their court, but they are not playing the game fairly. Their loss in the long run
  • kcoppkcopp Posts: 2,626
    thanks for....

    the heads up... customer support is key. I am even less likely to consider them as an option.
  • SteveSteve Posts: 485
    edited December 2012
    I was

    Seriously considering them for a few jobs 10 to 14 units

    I will now definitely Re consider

    Customer support is everything in this business
  • Mad DogMad Dog Posts: 3,155
    If Ray says it....thats good enough for me

    Wont try a navien I was about to now.  Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • jonny88jonny88 Posts: 1,139

    thanks for the heads up.i was about to get three of their combi units.i will definitly try a different brand maybe baxi.i cant believe how many naviens my supply house has sold and continue to push,
  • HDEHDE Posts: 220

    Makes you wonder, boiler shipment reports say Navien shipped like 15,000 combis this year and last and one guy has all the problems?

    Makes you wonder like he forgot the expansion tanks or something else?
  • Dirty lp gas

    HDE, I think you could have reworded your comment so as not to sound so critical of the original poster.

    I think the problem is dirty LP gas, AND bad communication from the manufacturers.

    Have you installed any Naviens?--NBC
  • update

    Navien admits to the factory defect of their lp units 1 year ago, trust me it is not an installation error.

    Another point of frustation is that the pressure sensor which was promised to arrive yesterday never came! We had to get one off of a new boiler. The original navien tech guy appparently should not have told me the part would arrive the next buisiness day.

    The northeast tech rep has reached out to us and wants to make things right which is a step in the right direction
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 3,271
    edited December 2012

    What's the factory defect?

    Please continue to keep us posted.

    Personally, I've had no problems with these units. I'm especially interested in the kind of support you get.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 3,271
    edited December 2012

    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • HDEHDE Posts: 220
    edited December 2012
    That's too bad

    But all shippers are hostage to shipping companies.

    Manufacturers pay alot of money to ship next day air, unfortunately it arrives in 2.

    Can't blame the shipper but the shipping company.

    Putting it back on Ray & the distributor, why don't he or they have parts if he's installed many or the distributor sell the product? Have some on hand would make sense, and then replaced by Navien, right?

    Regarding the loss of records, I know with Navien and the others, an RGA # accompanies everything, reference that number and they have a record, I'm sure.

    I'm sure it will work out just a drop or loss in communication and you were frustrated.
  • HDEHDE Posts: 220
    Reworked what?

    I as most do take offense to people that air their issues while not expending all their avenues.

    Oh the mighty Internet keyboard sword right?

    I know for a fact, having worked with Navien they are very organized and have all the records.

    Nothing ships without an RGA, give them that number and I'm sure they have the records.

    Yes, LP can be nasty, varying btu content, wet, dirty and so on and that doesn't even cover the piping and regulator issues they undersized to save a buck.
  • navien continued

    HDE, the rga number is given, but it also accomponies the serial of the unit. When I called and had them pull the record of the unit, they had no reccord of the clients repeat issues most likely because the unit switched serial numbers when it was replaced and their system did not recognize that.

    Regarding the shipping problem, I called around 12pm their time, which should have hit the fed ex truck. A phone call should have been made to us so we could let the client know that they would not have heat for four days instead of three.

    The problem which caused me to write this in the first place was when the tech support fellow in so many words said that my theroy of the flat plate hx did not make sense and that I was wrong. I eve told him we would ship it back if it was not needed. All the past problems with defects callbacks ect did not cause me to complain because they are acceptable with any unit especcially lp.

    The defect I am told was a gas soleniod to switch from low to high fire. The untis would lock out or produce little to no heat.

    HDE does your name stand for home depot employee? If so I remember you from about 5 or six years ago, and I can see your one sided opinions have not changed. This is why I hardly post on nere anymore.
  • HDEHDE Posts: 220
    Hmm one side opinions

    Ray, I ask that you read at least my last 50 posts and if what's you say is true, so be it. I post facts, straight forward, and to the point.

    We don't know each other and I never judged you. But speaking from experience I've seen many bad installs in my days. My favorite was a Weil McLain CG boiler that leaked. So did the next 2 that replaced it. After Weil McLain flew a engineer out it was quickly discovered that the 1/2" purge tap on top of sections was never used or plugged.

    Contractor response of course went something like this " how should I know that, all the other brands don't have one, who's paying for all my labor?"

    Flaming manufactures in my opinion is about as low as it goes, just sayin. Good luck with the Navien issue, I'm sure it will work out.

    I've got countless years of manufacturer engineer experience, at least I'm not a building owner that learned about how his boiler works on this site and now posts like he's an expert. (Not you)
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385
    I'll agree NBC

    Is it that uncommon to have a manufacture or supplier turn their back on you as the product goes out the door? There are usually more salesman than tech reps to be found.  I have dealt with many, and only stick with those that stick by me. Good luck Ray
  • Wow

    What ever happened to professional respectful debate?

    So much more can be achieved by working together to build a stronger more professional industry from both sides of counter
    Jim Godbout
  • Wondering

    where was the wholesaler?
  • gennadygennady Posts: 671

    Never installed one, never will. This is cheap piece of equipment ( not saying it is bad, never installed it), I just do not believe in low priced stuff. It was made for certain segment of the market, certain customers, certain contractors and so on. It is chinization and wallmartization of the market. and asking for proper customer support of these type of machinery is just laughable. Just my 2 cents
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • HDEHDE Posts: 220
    Interesting comment

    Considering any or all the components of today's boilers are imported, the Walmart comment could apply to all boilers almost.
  • GordanGordan Posts: 891
    That's not what I got from the comment

    What I read was "you get what you pay for, whether in manufacturing quality OR in support quality."

    I'm not sure I agree with that statement in general, but I do think that low cost, low margin products leave little room for a well-funded support organization. People don't work for nothing. The pressure is there with any company to cut corners in order to increase profits, but with some there are fewer corners left to cut.
  • smklinsmklin Posts: 46

  • gennadygennady Posts: 671

    We all using same pipes and fittings. Look at the results. There no same price same quality. Some even do not work at all.
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • ...

    Trying to stay respectful Jim, but when people accuse me of forgetting to install expansion tanks??!!!! And say that I am using the almighty keyboard sword it rubs me the wrong way and most definitely qualifies as 'judging'

    Once again, I did not want to flame them about the product issues, the tipping point was the technical support person and his supervisor who both refused to help me by sending out a flat plate HX. Once I posted this, a member of Navien reached out to me, agreed that I needed a flat plate HX, which I received the next day.

    We install 4 different brands of boilers and combis. to keep parts for each one would be far to difficult, which is why we rely on distributors or in this case the manufacturer to send us the parts we need. The manufacturers rep was involved in each one of our call backs on these units, the one most recently (Where I needed the flat plate and pressure sensor) They did not have either part for us to install.
  • Paul48Paul48 Posts: 4,158
    Re: Flaming Manufacturers

    There's nothing wrong with taking a manufacturer to task. If it means doing it it public forum, then so be it. It may get them to change the way they do things, and help many people in the future. Believe it or not, they need the feedback, good and bad. That way they can tell when their manufacturing engineers have screwed up again.
  • billtwocasebilltwocase Posts: 2,385
    That's why

    This site and Alan's Oil Tech Talk  is THE place to get answers and action. Top notch guys who care
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    edited December 2012

    Big Irish brings up a good point. Where was your supplier/wholesaler through this entire issue? Seems like all of this would be a mute point if your supplier supported not only the product they sold you but more importantly, you the customer.

    I drove 2-1/2 hrs one way yesterday to support mine.. Just saying...In the end it wasn't even a product problem.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 3,271
    Excellent Point Chris

    I've been in the trade for 40+ years and in business for 30. It took me a few years to learn that the lowest price is seldom the best value. This applies to wholesalers and contractors alike.

    I don't have access to as many suppliers as some may have in larger metro areas, particularly those that deal extensively in hydronics. R.E. Michel Co. has become my primary wholesaler for one main reason: their customer service. All the way from my local branch up to Doc Michel, they have been the friendliest, most customer oriented company I've dealt with.

    If a problem like Ray is having would have occurred, it would never have escalated to the point it is now if it was sold through R.E.M. I've known of Doc to call a manufacturer in and tell them to take all of their product back if they would not resolve an issue with a customer.

    I've also gotten good service from a couple of other suppliers in my area and these are the ones I'm gonna deal with, not the ones that just offer the lowest price.

    Iv'e also built my customer base on this same philosophy because they know we'll do the job right and be there for them if a problem arises. Consumers and contractors that look for value in the total experience will end up happier in the long run. I'm not implying that Ray or anyone else here doesn't do that. Sometimes we don't know what kind of service we'll get until an issue like this comes up.
    Bob Boan

    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • ".In the end it wasn't even a product problem".

    Not a product problem? I'm shocked! This is in response to Chris post and not a comment on the thread topic!
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    Oudoor Sensor

    Was installed right next to the flue outlet, pump was pumping through the exp tank and air scoop that only had about 6" of straight pipe and the boiler was never programmed correctly. No flow, no go!!
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    Outdoor Sensor

    Was installed right next to the flue outlet, pump was pumping through the exp tank and air scoop that only had about 6" of straight pipe and the boiler was never programmed correctly. No flow, no go!!
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • HDEHDE Posts: 220

    You tell a common "contractor" story.

    Maybe because of this common occurance manufacturers are slow to respond because in the end often it's not thier problem.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    That's Why I Asked

    Where the wholesaler was in this case. Still curious to that answer. I had a contractor call me yesterday afternoon on a Viessmann install. Said the boiler was running fine after install yesterday and the customer called the next morning to say no heat or hot water. He wanted a gas valve.

    Me and my son just happened to be 20 minutes away from the job so I went over there. Gas valve was fine. No power to it. Ended up being a bad control console. I had him follow me to the nearest branch, opened it, gave him a complete boiler. He changed out the control and was done. His customer happy and he was happy. I'll just order a new control console, he'll put it in the boiler I gave him and problem solved.

    I don't feel it is always up to the mfg to solve the problem, the wholesaler needs to take some responsibility. It's their customer.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • gennadygennady Posts: 671

    I'm surprised by the fact that boiler manufacturers are selling boilers to anybody with cash. It is common knowledge that anybody can install boilers, and yet the boilers i see installed are 99% installed with mistakes, most common greatly over sized, over pumped, and so on. I think there must be a point, where boiler manufacturers will make a rule, that only those who underwent factory training can install their equipment, or, there is no warranty or similar punishment. Chris, how installer in your story was not able even do basic troubleshooting?
    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    edited December 2012
    I Don't See

    It as much as a mfg issue as I do a wholesaler issue. The Pex Supplies of the world wouldn't be in business if wholesalers and rep agencies didn't sell direct to them. Would you support a wholesaler that out the back door is selling to the internet peddlers? I know who sells to Pex Supply or should I call them by their real name? It's funny how you read how contractors are upset over it yet they still support the wholesaler supporting them.

    Big service companies hire idiots who don't move a muscle without the service manager who knows just as about as much as they do. Nor can they read.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Chris

    Unheard of on LI! Wholesalers sell boxes,if something goes wrong,they don't want to know about it,take it up with rep.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • supplier

    Our supply house put us in touch with the manufacturers rep. The rep, and the supply house did not have the parts needed to solve the problem. They told us to call navien to obtain the flat plate hx. What happened then is what prompted this thread.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    And The Reps

    Will sell direct to the contractor faster then you can shake a stick.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • ChrisChris Posts: 3,056
    Your Supplier

    Didn't have another unit on the shelf? Maybe I'm too old school. I did grow under a time when a supply house had stock, knowledge and the know how when it came to standing on its own two feet to support their customer. I guess today's idea of support is different then yesterdays. I think I'll stick with yesterdays way.. Makes for a better relationship with the customer.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
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