NTI Trinity Ti-150 Boiler Problems: Bad Installation or Bad Boiler? Please Help
The Trinity replaced existing ancient hot water boiler when we bought the house in October 2006. This is old two store, 4 bedroom house, half brick. It worked fine up until December, when it shut off. The "brain" would go through various cycles, I could smell gas and air would be pumped in. All this would ended with error code (ER6) on the display. The contractor who installed it replaced igniter (Norton 601), after which the boiler worked fine. However, it started acting again two weeks ago. It shut off one evening, I noticed the water pressure was below 5psi. I let water in till the pressure was 13 psi, and the boiler came back. It did this two times. Last week it shut off again. This time i called a large local HVAC company (my contractor guy who installed and sold me the boiler does not return my phone calls any more...) and was told by HVAC tech that igniter is bad (the one that my contractor replaced in December.
So my question is why this should happen that often? Is there something wrong with boiler and /or installation that causes prematue failure of igniter? Or the sizing of the boiler was wrong? It did not seem to cycle, though... I asked this question to The HVAC tech who determined the igniter is bad, but he had no answer. All he did was he charged me $90 for checking igniter with multimeter.
In a separate question, do you think the contractor has a liability if it is determined the installation was bad? Thank you for our input.
You should contact NTI (NY Thermal) google & find your local rep - email etc. Pictures would be good. (piping/pumps, venting/gas pipe, heatloss/application etc.)
...of the installation. Installer fixed condensate tubing with ductape, I didn't touch anything. The cover and ingitor removed by HVAC tech who came to see it this aftrenoon. Fortunately, we have a separate heater for hot water.
If you smell gas you should shut the gas off. You need to find someone qualified to work on your system, I there are things I don't see in the pics like an exp. tank, maybe it's just out of the pic frame.
I never let schooling interfere with my education... Mark Twain
Check your manual - as ISO said, where's the expansion tank. I don't know the Mo# of that unit, but the last one I did had a condensate run off of the vent pipe? Also. no air scrubber? Should contact NY thermal re: this install.
Igniters do occasionally go bad. They don't regularly fail though.
Originally Posted by zach66
If the boiler starts right back up as soon as you add water, that's not the igniter causing problems. It is the LWCO, pressure switch, or flow switch. If you are having to add water - you have a water leak somewhere. There should be no need to add water to the system.
Originally Posted by zach66
The Trinity is a mod/con boiler. This means that it modulates the firing rate to match what is needed - from 34,000 BTU up to 150,000 BTU. Under most situations, you won't see the boiler cycling on and off. Modulation is very efficient so it is good that the boiler isn't shutting OFF, just ramping down.
Originally Posted by zach66
Fresh air pipe
The combustion air intake looks low to the ground in the next to last pic, going by the window and that may have picked up some leaves or any thing that would cause the boiler from not working. Also I do not see a exspansion tank neither.
well, Im no expert, just in the research I have done as I plan on ussing one in the house and a combi unit in my detached garage
1st off a trinity is designed for a primary and secondary loop (2 pumps, one circulating, and one for zoning) yours doesnt have it and can ruin the boiler
2nd a high effeciency aplience condenses quite a bit and that nice kink in the condensate pump line looks horrible
3rd, no expansion tank no wonder your adding water, as the water expands with heat whare does it go,,,out the pressure relief valve, then when it cools, the pressure drops below operating range for the boiler,,,,ruining it
4th, Im sure the outdoor reset isnt even connected
You need to install a primary loop and pump, put an expansion tank in the feed line to the boiler,,,also those boilers need an air scrubber, route the condensate properly and it will work fine. if you dont want to add the loop and pump, you can run a low effecient iron boiler and sell me yours,,,,Ill be happy to take it off your hand. Ive only heard great things about thiese boilers and the only bad ones are that of improper use and installation,,, while your at it, install an indirect water heater and enjoy constant hot water on demand. if you need advise to do yourself, I have all the paperwork and quite a bit of hydronic knowledge/pump specs to get your down the right path
good luck and fire the guy who put this system in,,,,better yet, file a complaint with the state,,,,thats a hack job if I have ever seen one,,,the hack that put my ol iron boiler in the basement was on par. Im switching to radient and doing it 100% by myself
email me with any questions,
Primary/secondary is one way of maintaining flow through the boiler. If you have no zone valves and all cast iron rads, I'm willing to bet flow is not a problem. lack of flow usually results in banging and knocking in the boiler.
Nothing wrong with the condensate line.
If you have not had to add water up til now, here is something to try.
Fill the system up to normal operating pressure. Shut off the boiler.
Take the condensate tube and put in a bucket. Don't run the boiler. If any water ends up in the bucket, the heat exchanger is leaking.
Water dripping or spraying on the ignitor will kill it.
I love my job, but paydays Thursday
I own a Trinity T150 I had the same problem. My opinion on whats happening Your lower drain line is set up wrong. It's accumulating a high volume of water which is backing up into the boiler - that's a cause of the E6 code (as well as the igniter). The igniter probably registered as bad because it was in a pool of water. When my drain line crimped the water backed up and caused this error. You need a trap instead of that looped drain line. The contractors are missing the cause of the igniter fauilure. Your system also doesn't appear to have an expansion tank. It's probably boiling over 30 psi on high modulation and draining excess water. Just a thought on that. That also happen to me. Your boiler may have been failing multiple times when the drain line backed up but you didn't notice since the Sentry has an outo restart feature that tries to fire up every few minutes...as the water drained ot of the line ..it would refire again and accumulate water again.
I've installed quite a few of the NTI boilers. You need to get the installer back and have them do things right.
Here is the installation manual incase they didn't leave it for you. Look at pages 13 - 18. This information should educate you so that you can point out what you feel is wrong.
These boilers need to be setup with a combustion analyser. This is not an optional thing it's a "must". This process would result in a hole drilled in the outlet PVC pipe and covered with silicone or some form of plug after being done. Didn't see a hole in any of the pictures, cut maybe it was just hidden. I mention this because it looks like the plastic drain tubing coming out of the boiler is turning dark which could be an indicator of the unit not burning right.
Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.
Hydronics set up
Pfunk above is exactly right. The unit is intended to work with a primary loop and secondary loop with seperate pumps to cycle through the boiler and through the system feed. It's complicated plumbing and wiring but not impossible to correct. You don't have an expansion tank. that' s easy to add to your set-up and may be all you need if it's working presently. The igniter may be getting fried from excess heat inside the boiler from the lack of 2 loop instalation. If it's making a sizzling sound (like a frying pain with grease) while running then it's running too hot. The drain loop at the bottom is the wronng set-up. It should be stright down with a line-trap device on it. The draining is a passive process and backs up easily. When mine crimped there was a gallon of water backed up. The create a LOT of water during condensing. You don't have a leak from the boiler - it's all stainless steel inside and sealed. Good luck with it. Mine works fine at a 20 below Canadian winter - with the few adjustments noted.
primary secondary ensures flow through the boiler, but it is still possible to short cycle the boiler. Piping an indirect water heater per NTI instructions doesn't use primary secondary.
The older models used a loop for the condensate drain.
And yes, it is possible for the hx to leak. Been there done that.
Like I said, if this worked good until december then I doubt flow is an issue.
I love my job, but paydays Thursday