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Laars Endurance EBP flow switch needs to be replaced - but how?

Chris Alonzo
Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
edited August 2018 in Domestic Hot Water
My EBP flow switch doesn't turn on right away when I turn on the hot water. Sometimes it comes on after 10 seconds, sometimes not at all. I am not a plumber, but have done a fair amount of plumbing. I want to replace it myself, but looking in the cabinet, it doesn't seem like there is enough room to get a wrench on it. Do I need to remove the top of the cabinet? If so, that would be a lot of work, given all of the pipes going through it. See the attached images.

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    Has the heat exchanger ever been delimed? If the flow gets restricted too much the switch may not activate or become intermitent.

    Page 34 of the manual explains how to troubleshoot DHW switch and delime the HX.

    Flue pipe looks a bit ugly?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 735
    Listen to hot rod, but if they switch is bad. What I have done in the past is remove that coupling on top and you can typically get to the nut closest to you and take out the whole assembly and put it all back together.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
    Chris Alonzo
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    Or you could abandon that switch and install a new one outside the cabinet.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 9,014
    use some caution on the new switch orientation, horozintal , vertical etc
  • Le John
    Le John Member Posts: 197
    Here is one of my Endurance boilers with the new style flow switch outside the unit. This was replaced many years ago and never had issues with the flow switch since.

    Ironically I have other endurance boilers with the old style flow switch that still work fine but this units old style flow switch was problematic so I decided to put in the new style.

    Sample product photo
    http://bostonheatingsupply.com/R2028200.aspx
    Chris Alonzo
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    Thanks! I was wondering what it is supposed to look like when installed. Do you have a picture of the inside? Do you remove the old switch? Is there any modification needed on the inside?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    A fairly common switch, easy to find. It should be a NSF 61, low lead version, officially :) Usually a .5 gpm is the flow activation.

    The old one would add a bit of flow restriction, cut the copper, remove it and build up to the new switch, looks like that is how the kit works.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Chris Alonzo
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    After two of the brass versions failed on my system, hard water issues, I switched to a Harwil brand installed in a PVC tee. I believe it is a reed switch type, uses a magnet to make a tight electrical connection. instead of a micro switch connected to an arm.

    The switch can be located anywhere in the CW piping, mine is a few feet away from the pump it activates.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Chris Alonzo
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    With the SIKA switch, I would just leave the old switch in place and run the wires to the new switch outside the cabinet?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786

    With the SIKA switch, I would just leave the old switch in place and run the wires to the new switch outside the cabinet?

    Yes you could. Better to remove it incase it is partially plugged.

    Looks like the retrofit kit mentioned above repipes from the gasket connection on the plate heat exchanger, up and outside the cabinet. A more expensive fix but it eliminates the old one and puts the new one in a more accessible location for future service.

    Has the heat exchanger ever been de-limed, might be a good time to add some valves to make that easy also. If you plan on getting into the piping.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2018
    I haven't de-limed it. What do I need for to do that? I was trying to find detailed information on how to do it, but couldn't. Sounds like you need to pump the solution through the exchanger for a while?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,786
    you have a 3 way thermostatic mix valve on the DHW also. It would be good to de-lime it also.

    This may work, although I have not tried to de-lime both together like this. Maybe others will chip in suggestions.

    I use a Whitlam kit for cleaning mine every few years, I have two Combis like yours and a solar plate HX to keep clean.

    Basically you need to add a couple service valves, Webstone, Watts, Conbraco all make them. It is a shut off with a purge port.

    Pump the cleaner into the valve on the cold feed to the unit. A portion should go thru the cold port on the mix valve , a portion to the plate HX and purge out the valve downstream of the mix valve.

    I would turn the knob on the mix valve from one extreme to the other to assure you flow both H&C port as the pump is circulating the cleaner.

    So when you cut into the system to replace the flow switch, add the two service valves, get a de-lime kit from a wholesaler or hardware store, plenty of brands to chose from.

    Here is the Whitlam video how to drive the flush kit.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Chris Alonzo
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    Thank you so much! I will do that. I am just going to replace the mixing valve while I am it since it is 28 years old, but I will still add the port valves like you suggested.
  • Laars
    Laars Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2018
    The Endurance flow switch was changed in 2006 to a paddle type switch, moved to the outside of the unit. The kit will come with the flow switch, a new copper fitting, and a gage to show where to cut the incoming water inlet pipe above the jacket. Contact a Laars distributor like FW Webb, and ask for part number R2028200.


  • Laars
    Laars Member Posts: 5
    edited August 2018
    The endurance flow switch was moved from the inside of the jacket, as in your unit, to the outside in 2006. We also changed the type of switch from a trap door to a paddle type. The new kit will replace the old style switch, and remove it completely from the unit and can be purchased from any of our distributors. The Kit number is R2028200 and will come with instructions and all parts needed to make the change. If you have questions on how to replace it, you can contact our tech service department at 603-335-6300 and they can walk you through it.


    Chris Alonzo
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    Thanks! I ordered it and it should come today.
  • Le John
    Le John Member Posts: 197
    Taking this picture gave me the incentive to inspect the inside for leaks.

    Here is a picture Of the other end of the switch circled in red. This is an older style endurance (blue jacket) and I haven't had any issues since I stalled it year's ago.
    Chris Alonzo
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    Awesome, thanks!
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,592
    Impressive customer service. Thanks, @Laars!
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
    Chris Alonzo
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    Success! I was able to replace it and we have consistent hot water now.

    Just a couple of notes for anyone other novice plumbers out there reading this in the future:

    1. To remove the union nut on the flow sensor, I could not get an adjustable wrench in the tight space. The gas pipe is on one side and the boiler pipe on the other. So, I had to buy a 1" open-end wrench. I was able to get it in at an angle, with the handle above the union nut for the boiler pipe.
    2. My unit did not have an existing hole in the back of the control panel to pass the wire through. I had to drill a hole big enough to fit the wire connector. Since I didn't have a grommet, I covered the hole with duct tape and made a small 'X' incision to pass the wire through. I put lots of electrical tape on the sensor wires to make sure they don't get cut on the sheet metal.
    3. I used the metal gauge to measure where to cut the pipe, but I wound up having to cut an extra 1/2" off to make it fit properly.

    The rest was 'easy'. :-)

  • Oldgamer
    Oldgamer Member Posts: 3
    Hello everybody,

    Sorry, I do not want to hi-jack the post, but I have the same problem: bad water flow switch. Can you please enlighten me about how much going to be labor cost (to replace that switch to the updated version).
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,566
    Oldgamer said:

    Hello everybody,

    Sorry, I do not want to hi-jack the post, but I have the same problem: bad water flow switch. Can you please enlighten me about how much going to be labor cost (to replace that switch to the updated version).

    Site rules, we don't discuss pricing. It would be fair to ask how many hours a job might take but the answer is likely "it depends" My guess is that the job would be pretty simple assuming access is good and the installer provided isolation valves so that the entire system does not need to be drained and refilled.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    OldgamerErin Holohan Haskell
  • Oldgamer
    Oldgamer Member Posts: 3
    Thank you Zman! Well, my heating insurance guy told me that it will require new, updated version and it should be installed outside of the Endurance box and will require "a lot of job", so despite insurance have to cover parts and labor cost in that case I still have to pay for labor. That's why I am thinking to close this insurance and just find the plumber myself.
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    I would definitely recommend getting a second opinion. I did it myself. Show the pictures above to the plumber in case they are not familiar with what needs to be done.
    Oldgamer
  • Oldgamer
    Oldgamer Member Posts: 3
    These pictures are very good. The thing is I am a programmer, not a plumber, so I am afraid if something will go wrong I will be stuck without required tools and materials and no water. Plumbing things are scary to me, if water will start leaking of the connections... If insurance will ask too much for the labor I better find local plumber, despite additional parts cost.
    Thank you for your advice.
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    I am a programmer too. I am not suggesting you do it yourself. Merely that it is not a huge job, relatively speaking.
    I started plumbing with smaller jobs before working my way up to boilers. 😁
    Oldgamer
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,566
    Oldgamer said:

    Thank you Zman! Well, my heating insurance guy told me that it will require new, updated version and it should be installed outside of the Endurance box and will require "a lot of job", so despite insurance have to cover parts and labor cost in that case I still have to pay for labor. That's why I am thinking to close this insurance and just find the plumber myself.

    I have no idea how the insurance guys managed to weasel into the heating industry but....

    Imagine going to the auto repair shop to have an accident repair done and having the adjuster tell you that the engine thermostat is too difficult to get to so they want to install the new one somewhere on the dash between the speedometer and the radio.
    Whatever insurance you purchased should be doing OEM repairs not some cobbled "update".

    If the manufacture is recommending and will only provide and updated part, the labor to fix your appliance should still be on the insurance company.

    Keep in mind, the insurance person you are talking to knows less than you do about this. They are either sales people or bean counters. Ask them where it says in your contract that they don't have to fix your appliance to manufactures specs.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Chris Alonzo
    Chris Alonzo Member Posts: 20
    Zman said:

    Oldgamer said:

    Keep in mind, the insurance person you are talking to knows less than you do about this. They are either sales people or bean counters. Ask them where it says in your contract that they don't have to fix your appliance to manufactures specs.

    Right, the insurer should at least replace the original part as part of your contract. I understand if they don't want to use the new and improved part if it costs more.
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