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Lochinvar copper tube

BobbyG Member Posts: 79
I have had issues with the factory. I am a stocking wholesaler. Right now I have a Copper-Fin heat exchanger (3-years old) that was declined as warranty for improper velocity (too fast) that caused erosion to the point of leaking.

Just like the installation manual, it was suggested to regulate the flow to the proper temp rise (or delta t). Found out the cheap bi-metal thermometers aren't even close to being accurate. By looking at the factory thermometers it looks like a 4-6 degree rise (500,000 btu input should be approx. 28 degree) but after putting thermistors on inlet and outlet, it is actually 26 degree rise.

The rep after seeing this with his very own eyes, says he will "go to bat" for me and my customer to see what he could do for us?????

They also sell the Bradford White CombiCor (they call it the Efficiency Mate) with no knowledge of failures, trouble, etc. I have asked repeatedly about Hot Rod and Bill Clinton's comments. (Youvoul Kommandant, I know nothing, I KNOW NOTHING! - Col Klink)

I haven't really had any trouble with the boilers other than usual improper installation, etc. Would like them to develop higher efficiency residential, like Intelli-Fin.


  • Lochinvar copper tube

    Just wanted to see what you guys think about these boilers I never here any one talking about them here on the wall. I just recently became a start up rep in my area after a tour of the factory and some indept training. I have to say im inpressed but would like to know what you think about them.
  • Paul Rohrs
    Paul Rohrs Member Posts: 357
    Wholesaler (attn: Mike Miller)

    I have been representing Lochinvar for 1-12 years now and have been mainly selling the mini-fin product. I have sold some of the other line excluding the Intellifin. I mostly sell residential and light commercial systems.

    I went to the plant last October. What a refreshing surprise. It is a 5-Star operation if I have ever saw one. I seriously could not have been more impressed.

    Ike Gatlin and the other guys at the plant seriously seriously know their stuff. The setup they have for training is excellent. Dean Grey in Tech assistance is someone who I wish would frequent "The Wall".

    I could talk all day to my contractors about some benefits that Lochinvar has to offer. It is great to be able to offer options on boilers ranging from "Chevy to Cadillac to Lexus to ......" It is a great way to design and sell systems.

    I would love to hear about your experiences w Lochinvar.
    I am attaching a picture of me in the Foyer of the Lochinvar plant. Now Mike Miller of Tekmar knows what I look like. I am supposed to pick him up at Denver International for Wetstock III. Now he can find me
    in the crowd.

  • hydronicsmike
    hydronicsmike Member Posts: 855
    Hey Paul... won't have that tooth pick with you, will you? :)

    You bet I'll be able to pick you out of the crowd if you show up with that at the airport. J/K

    Looking forward to it. See ya then.

  • Paul Rohrs
    Paul Rohrs Member Posts: 357

    I think I will leave that at home. A full-body cavity search is not my idea of a good time!


  • YA! the factory was great a top notch operation. The folks there answered some tuff questions from me and others with out any problems. I guess over all im impressed but I want to know the nuts and bolts of them as far as problems with the boilers them selves. I know how they should be piped I know how they operate. What have you guys run in to with them?
  • hydronicsmike
    hydronicsmike Member Posts: 855
    Fair enough

    Wetstock is going to be fun and a good time on its own.

    Can't believe there are only 100 people signed up so far.

  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    Have had some problems...

    and dropped the product line due to poor factory support in my area. I have had an occasional problem and have heard others have had problems with pilot outages on the mini-fin. Have got several in use and now that I have all the pilots adjusted down to the proper size (thanks to Timmie M), they are working well. They were coming from the factory with the pilot adjustment full open, burning up thermocouples in as little as 3 mos.
    The 3 electronic ignition minifins I have installed have operated flawlessly for three years. They use the basic White Rodgers ignition.
    The minifins do have a very high head loss heat exchanger (even for a copper tube) so anything over about 135mbh input needs more than a NRF-22 or Grundfos Brute. I have also found that at higher water temps (over 170F) they whine when the flow rate results in about a 30 to 40F delta tee. The smaller sizes really do seem to need to a 20F delta tee flow to keep them happy.
    The state boiler inspector around here knocks them, as do the big installers that use the great big old fire tube boilers. They tell people they will only get a couple of years use from them. Oh course, out of the ones I have seen only about 1/4 of them were piped properly. Contactors pipe them as though they were cast iron.

    The minifin is a nice little boiler, fairly easy to service, especially to clean the fireside of the heat exchanger, but very picky about water flow.

    Just MHO

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,410
    I have had good luck with them

    They seem to have trouble keeping reps and dealers in my area. Not really a large hydronics area, but large commercial water heaters are plentyful. Raypack seems to have a lock on this area, in that market.

    Application is critical with any low mass. Always, always assure that they are pumped properly. NEVER bypass the flow switches!

    Keep a tight handle on water quality in the system, doesn't take much hard water deposits inside to start making them talk to you! I'd be very picky about flushing, cleaning, and using a hydronic treatment to assure that copper HX is very comfortable with the fluid, ph especially. Buy a ph tester and check every single one you come in contact with.

    With glycoled ones, and be sure the pump is up sized properly, and watch the manufactures criteria for mix %'s

    I'd make sure you get the burners dialed in. A little rich burn soot will upset the heat transfer on the fins. Don't let them condense in the hx or flue piping. The finned HX can get plugged and bad things will happen :) I feel 8-10 minutes max before you see adequate return water temperatures.

    Early induced models had pressure switch bugaboos at high altitude installs, I suspect that has been corrected.

    Good luck in your endevor.

    This is one I installed a few years back for a John Deere dealer's home system :) The Weil indirect, piped in series, is a buffer and DHW provider.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 761

    I have installed many of the minifin and efficency boilers. With the minifin, as with all copper boilers, you must pump them right. I did notice 2 things that seem to be only with the Lochinvar. 1) The top section on the B vent where is goes through the roof tend to rust out. Lochinvar said to remove some of the metal pieces between the copper fins to raise the stack temp. I think it is the nature of copper boilers to short cycle like mad when the load is small. This, I'm sure, is hard on any B vent. 2) There is a lot of heat that radiates from the front of the boiler. The floor gets very hot! Also, when the Efficency first came out, I had problems with the gas valve on the EBN300. The reg did not respond fast enough for the 2 stage gas train. The gas pressure would drop suddenly when the 2nd stage would kick in causing flame failure. The boiler would restart everytime. I spent hours pulling my hair out. Even Ike from Lochinvar came out to check it out. He could not find the problem either. Finally, Lochinvar said it was a problem with the regs Honeywell gas valves. They had to redesign them. After all this trouble, I suggested to Lochinvar that maybe they could pick up the tab if I came out to tour their factory and do the factory training. After all, I did spend a lot of time doing some of their R&D. They said no.
    Dave Stroman
  • hydronicsmike
    hydronicsmike Member Posts: 855
    I love your jobs...

    ...Hot Rod. It is sooo easy to follow your piping.

    Everything is always nice and neat. You should bring a photo album of some of your jobs to Wetstock. I'd love to see more.
  • Dave Stroman
    Dave Stroman Member Posts: 761

    I have used the Lochinvar indirect heaters with no problem. In the Denver area they require double wall heat exchangers and the Lochinvar has that. They are priced much better that the SuperStore tanks.
    Dave Stroman
  • Lochinvar

    Well guys all I can say is thank you. Most of the replies have to do with flow rates and water quality and lets not forget return temp a delta T a must! I have a picky animal on my hands but if its set up right it will work right. Im a cast iron die hard at heart but it looks like this is the future of boilers as I know it, so thank you guys once again.
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