Burnham Alpine will not run at 190deg

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by tom3holer, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. tom3holer

    tom3holer New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    Hi,

    I have a Burnham alpine ALP080B installed about 9 months ago. It has worked fine till this cold snap we are having.

    The plumber that installed it had no idea how to set it up although the installation was very well done.

    I have taken the time to read the manual several times but am at a loss as to the current issue.

    I have the setpoint for central heat at 180 with outdoor reset engaged.
    As the temps here on Cape Cod dipped to 0 deg the boiler was not able to keep the home up to temp but did keep the water at the 180 setpoint even with all zones on. I have the "Central heat diff above" set to 10deg. I decided to set the setpoint temp to 190 however when outdoor reset is enabled and outdoor temp is measured below the low reset point the boiler will only come up to 180 and modulate there even though the setpoint is set at 190. If I disable the outdoor reset it will come up to 190 ,HOWEVER, even with the diff above set at 10 deg as soon as the boiler water temp exceeds 190 by 1 deg the boiler resets itself. I am not sure if this is two separate problems or not.

    Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Tom
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,846
    Location:
    01609
    It sounds like a firmware/software "feature", and probably not something you can do much about at the boiler end other than set it up fixed temp at 190F without reset control when you know it's going to be that cold.

    Mind you, 0F is fully 15F below your 99% outside design temp, so whether it's worth doing anything to be able to meet the load with 180F water @ 0F depends.

    Turning on some space heaters to manage this 99.99% percentile condition a few hours per decade is probably a lot cheaper than adding more radiation, but still more expensive than just going off outdoor reset for any night they are predicting low single digit temps.

    There may be ways to lower the heat load in at least the rooms you care about so that it'll keep up too, but probably not super-cheap either.

    Those are probably the extent of your options, unless Burnham has a firmware upgrade for the controls.
  3. tom3holer

    tom3holer New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    Dana,

    Its nice to hear from you again.

    First off let me thank you for all you advice in the past. As you already know you were absolutely correct. I had the Alpine 150 removed and a Al80 installed. Both my plumber and one other independent plumbing company said it will not work. I showed them the math you showed me how to do, but they said we have been doing this for years and that boiler is way too small for this house.
    It worked fine running at 60-65% with 2 of the 3 zones on and 90-95% with all zones on and 180Deg water in cold wx. This last cold snap was, as you say, very unusual.
    According to the manual it should work as 200deg is the limit and supposed to modulate down as it approached that limit but that is not what's happening. In any event calling Burnham was disappointing to say the least. They wouldn't even give me the name of a factory trained rep anywhere near my area. They said go to our website, which was pretty useless.

    I will probably have to live with it but I would really like to talk with a factory rep and see if this is indeed a "Feature" or perhaps there is another sensor not working properly.

    Again Dana thank you for all you advice last Spring when I began this retrofit.

    Tom
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    You may have a better end result trying to talk to the local distributor of that brand...they will know who buys the most product, and may keep records of those that have had factory training, verses talking to the manufacturer. I can somewhat understand the manufacturer not wanting to field calls from homeowners, where the amount of time and chance for misunderstanding could be high, but I cannot understand their reluctance to at least tell you who may have had some actual training on their systems.
  5. tom3holer

    tom3holer New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    Jim,

    Thank you, I think I will make a trip to the local distributor and see if he might be able to get the name and phone # of the local factory rep. He has been to my home when my installer admitted he was at a loss as what was wrong last year but I failed to get his name or number.

    From what I have read and from my own experience Burnham isn't open with advice. On the other hand I have called Taco on issues and they were very willing to discuss issues with me.

    Tom
  6. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,846
    Location:
    01609
    Since you (correctly) down-sized to the -080, note that it's output in non-condensing mode with 190F output is about 68,000BTU/hr, and it's at least conceivable that the output of your radiation is sufficiently to hit the high-fire BTU/hr limits with 190F water, and can't hit 200F simply on that basis. You can probably figure that out during the next real cold snap by turning off a zone to see if the output temp picks up substantially.
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