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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3

    Confused Lochinvar Boilers

    I have 2 Intellifin boilers. One had to be torn down and re-gasketted / rebiult last year, now I'm being told that I need to have the other one done. Is this normal for these 6 year old heating boilers? It seems excessive to spend $5-6K every six or seven years to rebuild them. Calls to Lochinvar blamed poor maintenance. I have a PM contract for the HVAC equipment to be maintained according to manufacturer spec. I have seen some of the work being done, ie removing the burner and cleaning it, checking the combustion and gas pressures, ect. Is there more that needs to be done annually?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Several Miles from Sane
    Posts
    1,458
    Talk to your water treatment people, find out what they are doing on the wet side (you are doing water treatment ?). Look at how your pumps are controlled, do they have a post run after the burners stop firing ?

    Tons of questions, more info is needed as to system design.
    If sense were so common everyone would have it !

    All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3
    Water treatment is good. I have been told that the problem is condensate. These are condensing boilers and they say that the seal around the primary heat exchanger chamber is failing and allowing air in and creating more condensate to "stack" in the chamber, increasing the pressure and causing more failure. It doesn't seem to make sense to me, it sounds like they are talking in circles. The company that handles the PM contract agrees that they shouldn't have to have this much work done so soon, and they are the ones making money on the repair. Also, Lochinvar has sent their reps out to check gas pressers and combustion and have not found anything wrong. When the chamber is opened both the primary and secondary heat exchangers are green and have some globs of soot? on them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Several Miles from Sane
    Posts
    1,458
    I gotta ask....any chemical fumes in or around the combustion air intake like maybe a pool or hot tub, cooling tower blow by ? Almost sounds like you are getting chlorine in the combustion air, just a guess.

    Assuming they did put in condensate drains are they trapped correctly ?

    Waht is the HW operating setpoint, above 110 ?
    If sense were so common everyone would have it !

    All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Ont.
    Posts
    489
    My thoughts are you got off easy with 6 years before a major, these are my least favourite boiler, condensing or non condensing they seem to be a high maintenance unit with heat exchanger fouling on the fireside being the primary problem. Heat exchangers need to be inspected and cleaned annually. These are nothing more than low cost disposable boilers.

    JMHO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3
    I agree with the high maintenance statement. We don't have the skilled man power to do the maintenance in-house, so I have to rely on outside contractors. I expect some extra maintenance costs to keep a high efficiency boiler running right, but not $5-10k per year for an annual PM, plus routine maintenance and adjustment. Select Energy had the PM contract 4 years ago when I started, Carrier bought Select Energy 3 years ago and still has the contract.
    Lochinvar says to "visually inspect the primary and secondary heat exchangers annually". To inspect the primary you have to open the front of the primary chamber and maybe remove the 'v' baffels to see the heat exchanger. To inspect the secondary heat exchanger you have to open the back of the secondary chamber, which requires disconnecting the plumbing connections. Basically we are supposed to tear them down, almost completely, every year. If we don't, Lochinvar says that we are not properly maintaining them.
    I have asked Lochinvar for "certified" contractors that I could get to quote a PM contract for me. They have not given me any names in more than a month. Even the local Lochinvar rep says that they do installations and start-ups, but not service. It is sounding like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, eat the high maintenance or replace the boilers.

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