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Thread: Weil-McLain Ultra 80 series 2 Boiler failed Sunday

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  1. #1
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    Default Weil-McLain Ultra 80 series 2 Boiler failed Sunday

    My Weil-McLain Ultra 80 series 2 boiler suffered a fairly catastrophic failure in the heat exchanger last Sunday. Gurgling in the radiant system alerted me to it. Antifreeze pouring out of condensate drain (terrible fumes from antifreeze). It is now Thursday and I have made no progress in getting it repaired. I could use some assistance in several areas. It is getting nippy in here. No hot water is rather a bummer as well. Dirty dishes accumulating, we could really use showers.

    Original contractor - competent one man shop - returns mid next week.
    I have tried the alternate my contractor recommended. They have no one available with suitable skills.
    Boiler is about 7 years old. I have been trying to contact manufacturer. So far progress is slow. We have exchanged emails about serial numbers after a day of voice mail boxes on their end, but a couple of hours ago I asked for help by email. No response yet. And they on Central time.
    No actual progress has been made in actually getting parts and fixing it. Wife entertaining the idea of a more useful husband. Orchids NOT happy. WM web site shows closest certified installer in BC.
    I spent a bunch of time and effort interviewing potential contractors for the install. Random calling of heating contractors and taking their word for the fact that they know what they are doing in not appealing.

    Issues. Complicated by having no idea what WM will consider warranty work. Given the labor and parts involved, would it be a reasonable thing to simply replace the boiler? Requires a much lower skill level to re-plumb a complete unit than taking the core of the boiler apart for replacement. If anyone can answer this part it would be a serious help. I have to decide boiler/heat exchanger before anything can proceed. Any knowledge of what WM will cover would also be of real utility in this decision process. This assumes I will not get a prompt and satisfactory response from WM; but it is being rather slow and we are cold.

    I have lost what I believe is a significant amount of antifreeze. I don't want to just add some from a different brand to a 7 year old batch. So, I believe the system also needs to be drained, flushed, and refilled. Short term, if necessary, I can just add water after a repair and isolate the loops with a potential for freezing. Then original the contractor can deal with antifreeze.

    I am in Anacortes. I need someone competent to deal with this in a timely fashion.

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    Current status. WM rep says they will cover the heat exchanger. Will not cover the antifreeze ( I seem to remember it took about 25 gallons). I am trying to get the heat exchanger kit. Words like 2 weeks have been uttered.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    And it's cold this week. Time to pick up some electric space heaters.

    Did you see where Washington State is now requiring Carbon Monoxide detectors?

    I changed the title to the thread, now there are some links at the bottom of the page to look at.

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    Thank you Terry. I appreciate the title change. As soon as I pressed the button I realized my title sucked but edit won't change it.

    I have one new heater in the room with all glass and tropical plants. It is keeping things above 60. One upstairs in the great room that has most of the orchids. Keeping the upstairs above 60 mostly with the assistance of sunlight. 20' ceiling in great room so most of the heat is up there. Office with computer keeps it around 70 with sunlight. When designing the place I thought about a backup for HVAC failure. No place that a fireplace worked and a spare electric water heater seemed excessive. Wrong. What I would like to have is one of those outside fast burn wood boilers tied to the radiant system via a storage tank.

    I have 2 new CO monitors sitting here. My problem with them has always been that the levels for alarm specified in the last revision of the standard for home alarms I looked at (a number of years ago) do not alarm at low enough levels. You are not required to retrofit, but I figured - why not. I have not used the stove for heat so far, but I have considered it with a CO monitor fairly nearby.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I had my boiler replaced 4-5 years ago (not sure now), but at the time, the Ultra was on my short list (I ended up with a Buderus). The installer at the time said he would no longer install the Ultra because of heat exchanger problems. Now, they may have resolved that issue, as this was awhile ago, but yours is in the timeframe when he made the statement.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    I finally believe I have repair parts on order. Days spent waiting for returns on phone calls and emails. No real sense of urgency. I believe I will have parts late Wednesday. Original contractor back in town about the same time.

    Regarding the boiler parts. The replacement for my Series 2 boiler is the Series 3 component. They claim to have fixed the "being eaten through" problem with the new components.

    Wiel-McLain rep says they will cover the cost of parts. But not shipping (expensive since I ordered expedited shipping). They will also not cover the cost of replacing the antifreeze. Their view is that even though the hole in their known faulty boiler has caused the expense, it is not covered in their warranty. Well I suppose one out of two is not bad. Not happy, but better than nothing. I seem to remember (could be wrong) that my system took about 25 gallons of antifreeze at $20/gallon. Plus labor to drain, clean, rinse, refill.

    No showers and dirty dishes are getting old.

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