What to do about the condensate

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by Nancy123, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Nancy123

    Nancy123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    British Columbia
    We had a boiler and hot water tank installed in Sept 2012. A fan was also installed to both of them to the outside (we were told this fan would work for both). The problem we are having is that the vent from the boiler to the fan "sweat". There is enough condensate dripping that we have to put a cloth underneath to absorb it. We have not had to turn the thermostat up as yet as we have electric heaters that do a sufficient job. That being said, the heat does automatically kick in when it goes below 10 degress celsius. Even so, there is still condensate on the vent. We have been told that we HAVE to turn the thermostat up to about 20 degress to eliminate the condensate on the vent.

    So, silly question ... shouldn't we be able to turn the thermostats up or down when we like and not just to "dry the condensate on the vent"? Is the guy trying to pull a fast one on us? We thought we could save on our gas bill, but it looks like it will be costing us more if we HAVE to keep it on. The other option that he gave us yesterday was that we should get another fan ... he says its the hot water tank that is causing the condensate.

    I've included a picture. The area circled is where we get the condensate. He's already shortened the vent leading to the fan, but that didn't help. Is there something else that can be done. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    THey installed a fan on the flues? There are power vented appliances, but I'm not familiar with the need or desire to add an exhaust fan in the flue for appliances that aren't designed for it. Plus, I don't particularly like that the flue size gets smaller at the inlet to the fan. All of this may be okay, but strikes me as a little flakey. Was this installation inspected? All combustion devices produce water vapor as part of the process, normally, the gasses stay hot enough to prevent condensation if installed properly unless it is designed specifically to condense (some are, but don't think yours are). I'd take a look at the manufacturers' installation instructions and see if this is an allowed installation method.
  3. Nancy123

    Nancy123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Hi Jim. Thanks for answering. :) My mom and I know nothing about these things so are stumbling along with how to even explain this. We finally got the manual on their last visit (yes, over 3 months later), browsing through it now. What I was told was a fan is actually a Power Venter (as you said). And no, we haven't gotten it inspected yet ... we wanted to make sure it was all working before getting an inspector in so that repeat visits by inspector and costs would be kept to a minimum.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    IF it's not installed properly, the installer should fix it for free. A power vented appliance has the fan installed at the device. I doubt any of them would allow you to combine their flues since when one was running, it might push fumes down into the other one. I'm not a pro, but from my untrained eyes, it just doesn't look right. The inspector is your friend in this, and is the one to keep the installer honest. But, if it is unsafe, he may disable its operation until fixed, and that could be an issue. Hopefully, someone who knows and can tell from your pictures will answer, one way or the other.
  5. Nancy123

    Nancy123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Thanks again Jim. My mom's going to the City sometime in the next few days to ask about an inspector. The installer has been coming back here quite a bit to try to fix it ... its gotten to the point where he closes the door on us and doesn't want us to see what he does. He's not happy and neither are we. I don't like the set up either ... the vent blocks the breaker panel and if a need arises to open the panel, it ain't happening easily.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    In the US, there are some strict requirements about electrical panel access...both above, to the sides, and in front. No idea what regs there are in Canada, but they're usually similar.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,918
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It would not pass inspection in Canada.
  8. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Master Hot Water Mpls,MN

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    If you don't pull a permit, you should at least have a licensed contractor. No water heater manufacturer has an atmospheric water heater certified of 'fan assisted' venting. I have seen it installed and passed by local inspectors here in Eden Prairie, MN, but it doesn't make it right. There may be a power vent kit for the boiler and an indirect of hot water.

    The pluming wouldn't pass.

    The gas work wouldn't pass.

    The venting wouldn't pass.

    And my Dad would have been kicking someone's hind-side up around his shoulders!
  9. Nancy123

    Nancy123 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    British Columbia
    Quick update. The inspector came today. He's going to talk to the installer about moving the vent away from the breaker panel. Also he's got an idea for the condensate. We'll see what happens. Thanks all! :D
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Forum Title Date
Boiler Forum Condensate Treatment - Important? Jun 25, 2009

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