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5 month old Vaillant boiler issue, installer acting dodgy - please help!

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by grumpypj, 11 Oct 2015.

  1. grumpypj

    grumpypj

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    All,

    in may, 2015 i had a vaillant ecotec plus 615 boiler installed. Few days ago, we noticed water dripping (very slowly) from the boiler. I called the boiler installer who said he will come around in 2 days. he didn't ask me to switch the boiler off. in 2 days boiler shut down on its own with F28 & F54 codes. he came a day later (!) and said that the condensation pipe has blockage for which he will have to charge me extra! he came around today, de-congested the condensation outlet. the boiler still didn't start. he said that gas valve has broken due to condensed water seeping into gas valve and cables were wet inside the boiler too! he said gas valve will have to be replaced and cost is 150 pounds.

    Now there is 5 year part & labour guarantee and i got this installed 5 months ago. so i asked this chap why he is asking me to pay. he then said "ok, lets negotiate" - he will pay £100 from his pocket but he would like to see me foot 50 as well to cover for his time! he also told me to not tell Vaillant that gas valve packed up due to condensation water making it to gas valve due to congestion.

    clearly, he has gotten something wrong during installation and is hiding something. He wants to not invoke the guarantee of the product. when i insisted on warranty being used, he told me that if I speak with Vaillant I should tell them nothing about the condensing outlet blockage. I told him I was not going to lie. He then said, that he will call them on Monday and find out but he wont tell them anything about the condensation leakage issue.

    He is going lie to the manufacturer on monday, he is asking me to lie to them and he is asking me to give him 50 for the gas valve and 40 for unblocking condensation pipe.

    I am really stressed. I spent so much money on new boiler and this person has messed it up in 5 months. He has the cheek of asking me for money. I have the gas safety registration certificate that he gave me, payment was made via online bank a/c transfer. I still havent received the building regulation certificate from LA. I am new to this country and convinced i have been conned. I live in a purpose built block of flats in London and many others in the building have had their boiler done from the same person. so it's not that I got in a stranger. And people have said good things about his work.

    1. Water in the cables of the boiler! i am worried about safety of my family.
    2. why would he be hiding this issue from Vaillant and asking me to lie as well?
    3. with 5 year parts & labour guarantee - i dont want to spend more. Am I in wrong in saying this?
    4. whole business of him putting £100 & I doing £50, is ridiculous. But if he has messed up and nullified my product guarantee, then should i still consider it?
    5. is he correct in asking me 40 pounds for unblocking drain? should he have not inspected the conensation path at time of installation?

    what should I do? if he is a fake or doesnt have gas safe registry, then is my guarantee even valid? Help please!!
     
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  3. Your warranty doesn't cover accidental damage, only mechanical failure of the parts, the condensate blocking is not vaillants fault and they will be under no obligation to replace anything caused by such under warranty.
     
  4. nortonj

    nortonj

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    If your installer has run your condense to drain correctly, but the drain blocks for another unrelated issue and backs up into boiler, then its no your installers fault just one of those things
     
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  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Not really the case........ if it has been installed in such a way that blocking is possible then the installation was defective. Even blocking by freezing is considered to be the result of a poor quality of installation. When designing the run of the condensation drain anything that might cause a blockage has to be considered.

    Did the installer tell you what had blocked the condensation drain ?

    Good reason to take this to the Gas safe people and / or Trading Standards as the installer has mentioned water on the cables. It is most un-likely that water on the cables will put your or your family at risk ( other than maybe the electrics tripping off ) as boiler should be earthed. ( but you don't know that :sneaky: )
     
  6. nortonj

    nortonj

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    Bernard every drain put in is supposed to be run in such a way that it doesn't block, but unfortunately things happen, drains get blocked and its not always an installation fault.
     
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  7. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    What is there in boiler condensate that can block a drain pipe ?.

    If the drain goes into a sink waste pipe then the sink waste could become blocked and if the boiler sump is low enough water from the sink could flow along the condensate drain and fill the sump. But that would be a very badly designed installation. If there was that risk then the condensate drain should be routed elsewhere.
     
  8. nortonj

    nortonj

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    Well i personally have been lucky (touch wood) and never had one of my condense legs block.
    But it could happen.
    without knowing/ seeing what the op's condense drain is like then i cant really comment.
    I am just saying it can happen and not always an installation fault.
    I fit some macerators in a nursing home a few years back and they kept blocking, which was firstly blamed on an installation fault, but turned out the residents and carers were putting allsorts down the toilets, nappies, knickers to name but a few.
     
  9. Agile

    Agile

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    OP to enable us to make an informed comment please could you explain where the condensate goes to?

    Perhaps post a photo?

    What area of the country are you in?

    Tony
     
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  11. grumpypj

    grumpypj

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    Thanks all for the reply.

    posting the picture here, im based in docklands, London. the white pipe (on top) is coming from the boiler and joining the outlet through that white thingy. the reason for congestion he gave was ' perhaps when the flat was constructed 15 years ago, the builders left somethings in'. he got a drill like thing to unblock it. I am no expert but i didnt see a lump of wool coming out. the boiler condense, kitchen sink outlet and washer dryer eventually join the same 'big pipe' is what he said. he explained that the water within the boiler couldn't make it's way through and therefore it basically trickled down to most parts including cabling. At the time of installation, he didnt check the condensation pipe functioning and neither did he ask me to get it checked. he didnt suggest a condense pump either.

    when he mentioned congestion, he said unblocking will solve the boiler problem. It did not. then the gas valve came up. im worried where will it end. I spent close to £3k just 5 months ago. another thing - its been 5 months and i havent received my building regulation certificate from LA. i am sure this person isnt gas safe registered.

    what are my best options?

    1. go ahead and replace the valve & hope for the best? like i mentioned I dont know what else will have to be fixed. i dont want to make any one pay for what they arent responsible. but I do have to know that he carried out the installation the right way before i keep spending money on an accident.
    2. call in gassafe inspection first - i still can - its not been 6 months. they can find a fault. the installer can be present on inspection and any recommendations coming out, the installer fixes?that scenario does sound too good to be true though.
    3. should i report him as a possible illegal installer? he gave me a gas safety certificate. when i checked the registration number of the issuer, the name is not his and a different persons.

    In any of the above, i see myself wasting cash and living without a boiler for good 1 month. we arent using heating yet and there is immersion heater tank. but early november we will require heating. Guys - advise please..
     

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    Last edited: 11 Oct 2015
  12. hertsboilers

    hertsboilers

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    F28 and F54 together on Vaillant R2 are a typical failure of gas valve. It has nothing to do with condensation blockage.
     
  13. grumpypj

    grumpypj

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    hertsboiler - even if there was water in the boiler? when the boiler was opened up, in the metallic chamber which I was told is designed to collect any spillages did have some water.

    are you suggesting this was gas valve from day 1? in that case i should be able to get this covered under warranty?
     
  14. grumpypj

    grumpypj

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    just checked, i see F28 on the display.
     
  15. hertsboilers

    hertsboilers

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    From this boiler design, it is almost impossible for condensation water to back flow up to the gas valve before the boiler cuts off.

    I have experienced some F28 and F54 failures on Vaillant ecoTEC R2. It is by a batch of gas valves, known issues. Call Vaillant to get it replaced.
     
  16. ScottishGasMan

    ScottishGasMan

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    If the gas valve and cables are wet then its not a manufacturing issue. Therefore its not covered, and Vaillant are now charging for call outs which turn out to not be manufacturing issues so you take the chance of this if you get them out.

    It is however very unusual for a blocked pipe to cause this damage, for water to enter the gas train normally it has to be forced up the condensate, possible a blockage downstream and the washing maching has pushed back up into the condensate.

    Im a big believer these days of having a trapped air gap between the boiler outlet and any drain system which makes such a fault impossible,
     
  17. ScottishGasMan

    ScottishGasMan

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    not in a 2014/2015 boiler.
     
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