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  1. #1

    Direct vent exhaust pipes too long

    Hello,
    We have a Weil-McLain Ultra gas fired water boiler series 2. It is a direct vent system. It was installed when we built our house a few years ago. It is vented through the roof.

    Since day 1 we have had problems with the boiler constantly cycling on and off and occasionally cutting off completely. After a number of service calls with our local propane company and replacement of the fan (as well as some other parts that I cannot recall), it was determined that the vent pipe was too long. The maximum length for this particular unit is 100 feet. When all of the bends were factored in, our exhaust pipe length comes out to 135 feet.

    Two options have been presented to me

    1 - Route the pipes out to the side of the building. This would provide a shorter distance but would require us to have part of the basement ceiling to be torn up and then repaired. Also the location where the pipes would come out would send steam billowing in front of the kitchen window (something my wife objects to)

    2 -Move the boiler to another location in the basement so it is next to an outside wall and vent it there. The water lines and electrical would have to be moved but no sheet rock work and it would be in a better location aesthetically

    My question is: is there an alternative to moving the vent pipe or the boiler. Is there a device, such as a fan or pump of some sort, that could be connected in series with the exhaust that would allow the venting of exhaust gases over a greater distance?

    Thanks very much for your advice!
    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Nope. Best bet is to move the boiler so the vent and intake are shorter.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
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    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 10-04-2012 at 04:23 PM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
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    Also sometimes you can increase the pipe size, look in the manual and see if you use 4" PVC what max length is.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    burlington county n.j.
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Nope. Best bet is to move the boiler so the vent and intake are shorter.
    +1 either move it or redo the venting, no approved band-aides i know of.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
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    3,588
    I looked in the vent supplement and 4" not applicable, give it a few years your HX will start leaking and you can then replace boiler to a traingle tube or something good.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
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    5,520
    Any way to change the piping so you can use some 45's or eliminate a elbow? Sometime you can roll piping and run it at angles instead instead.

  8. #8
    Thanks for the replies.
    JoeHVAC25, what is a triangle tube? And what is the HX?
    Motoguy128, they looked at reducing the number of elbows (there are a few), however, even with that it will be too long. However, the factory rep is coming out to the house so I will ask again.
    Looks like I am likely going to have to move the unit though...
    Joe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
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    3,588
    A traingle tube is a better boiler, the ultra has a aluminum block or heat exchanger and without the proper care they can and will prematurely fail. They have to have really ideal water conditions. If you have ever had a no heat due to the condensate trap backing up that is most likely because of the aluminum that is wearing of the HX. I have heard of the blocks leaking in a year or two. I would recommend having your contractor test the water and they also make a solution that you can put in the water system. Most people won't touch those boilers with a ten foot pole now. If it is setup proper you should not have any issues though.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,095
    Quote Originally Posted by Joehvac25 View Post
    A traingle tube is a better boiler, the ultra has a aluminum block or heat exchanger and without the proper care they can and will prematurely fail. They have to have really ideal water conditions. If you have ever had a no heat due to the condensate trap backing up that is most likely because of the aluminum that is wearing of the HX. I have heard of the blocks leaking in a year or two. I would recommend having your contractor test the water and they also make a solution that you can put in the water system. Most people won't touch those boilers with a ten foot pole now. If it is setup proper you should not have any issues though.


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    The Ultra's aren't as sensitive to water conditions as people made/make them out to be. The series one had problems with the freeze out plugs. And WM stood behind all of them.

    Next problem was that some installers either didn't read the instructions, or didn't care what they said, and installed them in ways they should net have been installed. Including using anti freeze that was not intended to be used in and thing that has aluminum in it, let alone an aluminum block boiler. but the block got blamed for careless contractors.

    Got some of them installed that are running since 2004 no problems. And the city water they were filled with is not the greatest.

    Another problem is people repeating that the boiler has problems, when it was a crappy installer that had problems.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Upper Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    The Ultra's aren't as sensitive to water conditions as people made/make them out to be. The series one had problems with the freeze out plugs. And WM stood behind all of them.

    Next problem was that some installers either didn't read the instructions, or didn't care what they said, and installed them in ways they should net have been installed. Including using anti freeze that was not intended to be used in and thing that has aluminum in it, let alone an aluminum block boiler. but the block got blamed for careless contractors.

    Got some of them installed that are running since 2004 no problems. And the city water they were filled with is not the greatest.

    Another problem is people repeating that the boiler has problems, when it was a crappy installer that had problems.
    I guess that's what I meant in a nutshell, install it right and it works right, install it wrong like most of them and they go bad. Some other boilers are more idiot friendly though. It's obvious the installer couldn't even use simple addition or subtraction, being that they ended up 35' too long, who knows what else they couldn't do right.


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