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Lochinvar firetube boiler shout out!

tim smith
tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
Just wanted to say that we have been putting in these boilers since the very 1st production model. They have virtually had not replacement parts except for maintenance items ie igniters, flame rods and gaskets for appx 9 yrs. No blowers, no modules. Really solid. I know they had the flue sensor problem but that is it as far as a failure point as others have had a minor inherent issue. Just felt that enough complaints about mfrs are brought up that a positive thing too can be put out there.
Thanks
Tim
rick in AlaskajinbtownIn_New_EnglandAlan (California Radiant) ForbesEdTheHeaterMan

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,552
    Are they the Kiturami heat exchangers? Have you opened many for cleaning? How do the compare to the water tube for cleaning? I have owned two Knights, a Cadet, and a Nobel and all have been trouble free.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    MikeL_2
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 206
    Big fan of lochinvar boilers, too. Perform regular maintenance on all our customers boilers and never have issues. Also think the noble is a great design with a fire tube heat exchanger. eliminates the cold water sandwich. And the ability to lower the firing rate to closely match the attached heating load is another excellent feature.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,777
    I love the Knights and have a KHN in our house. All the ones i installed as a contractor were trouble free, fire tube and water tube. We’d pop the tops on them every year to clean them and we started setting up the fire tubes so we could easily flush the water side of them too. The control sets it apart in my opinion. There’s so much you can do with it. 
    Steve Minnich
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
    Hot Rod, they are similar in time to clean but not near as often. I am speaking of the tubes not just the combustion chamber and condensate trap. They don't mention cleaning the tubes in their manual any where but am finding they get really compacted if left for more than 2-3 yrs or so on the tube side. These heat exchangers are basically the same as Triangle except for little changes, made by same mfr in Poland.
    We flush out tubes but we end up having to rod out with a flat silvfos rod on both sides of the dimples in each tube. Takes a bit but if kept up on not hard to get through.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,552
    I talked with one of the pressure washer companies at AHR about building something like this. I have a 120V pressure washer, I may prototype one. I suspect a rotating nozzle onn the wand. It would be handy for the Gianomi type HX, I'm not sure how many use the same cover bolt pattern?

    I suppose it would work on fire tube designs also?

    I need to talk with my German colleagues and see if they could ship one to me.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Solid_Fuel_ManGGrossEdTheHeaterMan
  • jinbtown
    jinbtown Member Posts: 31
    tim smith said:

    Just wanted to say that we have been putting in these boilers since the very 1st production model. They have virtually had not replacement parts except for maintenance items ... Just felt that enough complaints about mfrs are brought up that a positive thing too can be put out there.
    Thanks
    Tim

    Just finished our first heating season with our Noble 150 with 10x turndown paired with a Bradford White Aerotherm 80 gal heat pump water heater. After subtracting the approx $500 a year in propane that our previous water heater used to use ($80 a year in added electricity costs for the last 12 months with the HPWH), we still used about $1200 less in propane here in northern NH or approx $200 per month for our heating season. Our fillups were regularly 130-150 gallons vs 200 gallons every month last year. This winter was noticeably colder than last winter. I just yanked the top plate and the fire tube is spotless, very happy. We have extremely clean water with low TDS, low dissolved chemicals, and no hardness, so will likely not bother flushing the water side more than once every 5 years. We had one heating failure all year from bumping the old oil burner emergency shutoff switch one evening without realizing.

    Longest burn this year was about 54 hours straight with no shutoffs. Boiler typically runs around 13-18% depending on outside temps. Ecobee keeps track of heat calls. So happy we went with this Noble boiler vs some of the other options.


    In_New_England
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
    Hot rod and all, the pressure washer would not work well I feel on the firetube, they are such narrow passages and not straight down due to the offset dimples going down the tubes. you only have appx 3/16 max passage on both sides of dimples that you need to clear. high pressure water is going to spray out every where even if you could get decent compression seal. They are a bear to get clear when they are impacted. And a high percentage of the ones who have not had good rodding every year or 2 are impacted. I really want to find a good chemical to break down the coffee grounds safely then set up a simple flush and circulate system. Although you need to justify the expense to go to these extremes I feel. Pulling flue pipe out of base flue collecter, pull blower and burner assembly Plug vent outlet pipe to allow to fill fireside with chemical fluid. Then circulate for decent amount of time, return, flush with fresh water, maybe quick dousing of passivation liquid. Assemble, fire up and test. Just typing it makes me feel like hard to justify but they will fail if we don't get them fairly clean. We are still seeing some that after spray with stainless boiler cleaner, rodding out with silfos rod and then flush and assemble we still only get them to I would guess 75% clear. Makes me concerned for the efficiency and longevity. The combustion #s are still pretty good but you know it is bring efficiency down and stack temps up a bit I think.
    Thanks for the read if you got this far. :)
    Tim
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,737
    There is this commercial chemical for removing carbon from cookware. Perhaps that would work.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
    An answer to Hotrods question as to firetube mfr, I am pretty sure AIC S.A. makes the heat exchangers for most of the residential light commercial condensing boiler mfrs who use firetubes, at least their legacy main firetubes. Some of their later versions that were more cost effective used some other mfr tech. Including the Noble. I am not quite as much of a fan but have no data to support one being much better than other except already have more years into the original firetube which gives me bit more faith including knowing some quirks about them. I am into rambling a bit today.
    Take care all
    Tim
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
    Matt, we have a lab we have worked for over the years who make stainless cleaning chemicals. Specifically safe for stainless in fact used in approved food mfr plant. It is used to descale stainless, I think high citric based. Will see once I get one of the guys to bring me in more coffee grounds.
  • @tim smith Are they they ones that make Citrisurf? Good stuff and the only one recommended by Viessmann for their stainless steel boilers.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,552
    Doesn't Adey and Fernox make chemicals for cleaning the fire side of mod cons?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream