Flue Sheild?

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Bingsy, 8 Feb 2016.

  1. Bingsy

    Bingsy

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    Is there a legal and gas safe weather shield that can be fitted in front of a horizontal flue pipe (fitted 2012) to stop wind blowing rain into the boiler housing? I have looked on-line, but can't seem to find an answer. Whenever the blowing rain hits within a certain arc I have to put a jug under the boiler as it is about 1 drip per 3-5 seconds. I appreciate that the air intake pipe would allow some water to sneak in from time to time, but this is ridiculous.

    If there isn't a prefabricated one, could I make one myself legally? I assume that if I could make one, then there would be a whole host of clearance measurements I would have to adhere to in order to keep it safe. I am not talking about boxing it in, but something like an upward angled U shaped plate to keep the worse of the weather off it.

    I have inherited an Ideal Logic 15 boiler in a new build. Unfortunately, my maintenance period has long finished (and I had them out to fix the flue after a previous storm or so I thought!). The condensate drain is at the bottom of the boiler and drains into the sink plumbing - this is clear and tested on the last service, so I know it isn't that. Internally, I can see water dripping from the top of the boiler where the flue air comes in. It only occurs when the wind and rain hits at that sweet spot and so I am 99.9% certain it is rain water. Also, from the outside I can see water being blown in. If I have read these forums correctly the flue on these boilers should lean back a few degrees and this seems to be correct - and probably not helping. I'm not sure if condensate water is PH neutral, if not I could test it to be sure.

    I am hoping that my plumber who did my service was wrong in saying that this was something I would have to live with, as this is clearly gong to lead to premature failure of boiler parts.

    Sorry for my ramblings, but trying to cover everything. Any advice, experiences or warnings would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Agile

    Agile

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    You are not going to get any help here as anything to do with a boiler combustion or flue must be dealt with by a gas registered engineer.

    You should not even have opened the room sealed case of the boiler.

    If you are not happy with your engineer's assessment of the situation then find another engineer.

    Or even try dealing direct with the manufacturers. They would not like to think their boiler and flue allow water it get in. But then I don't know if the flue is correctly fitted.

    Tony
     
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  4. 45yearsagasman

    45yearsagasman

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    I would call a RGI in to inspect the flue install is correctly done. Ideally the flue pipe should be sealed against the external and internal brickwork. When done correctly, no rain water can get by and the little rain water that may enter the flue pipe can be handled by the boiler.
     
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  5. shambolic

    shambolic

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    Wrong mate!!
    The water will be driving in the air intake no matter how it's sealed if it's exposed.
    Two things to be aware of first.
    Is there any white showing outside? If so flue is too long and won't be sealed properly as the black wall seal fits over the ridge on the plastic terminal.
    Second how much of a degree of run back to boiler is there? The logic terminal length of flue has an inbuilt run in the inner flue so if you alter the flue to horizontal rather than back if should help with water in outer flue while still allowing condense to run back.

    Ps this work should only be attempted by a qualified Registered engineer.
     
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  6. shambolic

    shambolic

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    image.png
     
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  7. 45yearsagasman

    45yearsagasman

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    My apologies, but I interpreted the op as water was getting inside the property and suggested it may be that the wall was not sealed behind the wall seal and that may have been a cause. I stand corrected if that is not the case.
     
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  8. Bingsy

    Bingsy

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    Thank you all for the responses so far.

    @Agile - No fear that I will be conducting any work on the flue or boiler, I know that is something that I cannot touch, hence why asking if there was anything I could do legally. I know that I shouldn't open the casing and I haven't. It was the last engineer who showed me where the water was getting in and told me I would have to live with it. The previous engineer just scratched his head and told me there wasn't a problem that he could see.
    Not sure what the deal is with the front panel, both engineers unclipped the panel, looked inside, did nothing then clipped it back into place, much the same as I would have done, but I take it on board that I do not touch and I don't. Besides, there is no point, the problem is outside.
    I appreciate you saying find another engineer, but I have had 2 gas safe engineers. I researched each one and both had good customer reviews online, but I dare say they are when it comes to run of the mill stuff, but neither instilled confidence in me. It is becoming a bit of a crap shoot.

    @45yearsagasman - The water is almost definitely getting in through the flue as the inner wall is dry and the dripping was from the top case of the boiler.

    @shambolic - There is no white pipe showing. Looking at my paperwork from the engineer who was sent by the developer originally, they changed the angle of the flue. Speaking to some neighbours there is a mix of some with no problems, to some with a small amount of water getting in and they have also been told this is normal. I'll attach some images of the flue, you can see a cement patch where it was lowered.

    We had some blustery rain for most of today and I collected just short of 250ml of water in the jug. To me that is not something I should have to live with. That is over a litre of water on a wet week and it cannot be doing the inside of the boiler any good. I just hope it isn't running over any component parts.

    I guess the only solution is to get a complete new flue fitted, but I fear I may be throwing good money after bad. Is this really the way I should approach it or is 250ml on a stormy day normal and I should just live with it?

    Thank you all again
     

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  9. Agile

    Agile

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    So where are you collecting this water from??? Where can you see water!

    Why are you unable to measure the angle of the flue? That is a major aspect to any water ingress problem.

    Behind the black rubber gasket outside, has the flue been sealed to the brick with cement mortar?

    Tony
     
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  11. snes

    snes

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    Would a plume management kit help, in as much as you could then direct the flue outlet away from the prevailing wind direction?

    Needless to say, the kit would have to be an original specified one from your boiler manufacturer.
     
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  12. muggles

    muggles

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    No, it wouldn't - that would only direct the exhaust terminal away, and if water was getting into that it would just exit the boiler via the condensate drain. You also can't have a PMK terminal facing in a different direction to the air intake, as it creates a pressure imbalance, but that's another issue not relevant here.

    Sounds like water is getting into the air intake and running back into the boiler, and Ideal haven't taken sufficient steps in their boiler design to deal with this possibility. They aren't alone with this, unfortunately, but it is nevertheless an issue. As for what is to be done about it @Bingsy, that rather depends on where your boiler is located in the house and whether there is any possibility of re-routing the flue so that it does not face the prevailing wind direction. This might be the only reliable fix. For the neighbours that don't have the same problem as you, are their flues facing a different way?
     
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  13. shambolic

    shambolic

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    It's not an ideal problem per se it's a flue design issue and flue siting issue.
    I believe ideal have spoken to M and G who make the flue for ideal and other manufacturers, about changing terminals with a bigger lip on the air intake and a hole just after it to let water run out.
    May be worth phoning ideal/developer and explaining the situation and even though it's out of warranty they may look at it.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2016
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  14. Bingsy

    Bingsy

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    Thanks again all I really appreciate the time taken to look at this. The better armed I am with impartial views the better idea if the next engineer is stringing me along.

    @Agile The water leaks out at a rear corner where there is a small hole in the fold of the casing. Fortunately, I can get a water jug under it to catch it. It hasn't rained much today and so there was only about 50ml. As this evening drew in and the rain stopped, so did the dripping. I haven't had the opportunity to measure the angle properly - late shifts. I'll look on the weekend, but the angle may be immaterial from a DIY perspective as I cannot touch it. It looks like the flue has been sealed behind the gasket, but I didn't want to pull on it too hard as I wasn't in a position to try and fix it back on if it came off in my hand!

    @muggles neighbours with flues facing a different way seem to be OK. The others with minor problems are same as mine. My house is a little different to the others in that I don't have a wider shared drive (where the flue is sited). This means my drive is in a narrow channel between 2 houses and acts like a wind tunnel, it may well be funnelling toward the flue. Re-siting it isn't a viable or economic option.

    @shambolic I'll give Ideal a ring if I can get a break in work and see if this is something they have had complaints or queries about.

    I guess the bottom line here is that there is nothing I can do as a householder as shielding is not an option and may not work. I am just so peeved as the house is less than 4 years old and I am having problems like this. New builds - cheapest materials make cheaper contacts and win the job lot I suppose :-/

    Thank you all, you have my gratitude. I'll let you know how I get on with Ideal and I am going to complain to the developer, just for the hell of it!
     
  15. Agile

    Agile

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    Before you call anyone I suggest you try to measure the angle of the flue.

    Some makers are a bit naughty about this. They often say the flue needs to be at, say 3 degrees, but any engineer knows that the fist section has a built in slope and so the outside of that section needs to be horizontal. But they don't actually say that. Worse, the tech help guys don't understand the finer points of boiler design and will sometimes tell you the first section needs to slope as well.

    The inner part is carrying moist flue gases and some will condense there and so it needs to run back into the boiler.

    But the outer is only letting dry air into the boiler and does not need to be sloped as the boiler has no provision for dealing with water coming back down the outer.

    Tony
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2016
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  16. Bingsy

    Bingsy

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    Thanks @Agile I'll get my ladders out on the weekend and have a go at getting a level on it. I'll let you know.
     
  17. muggles

    muggles

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    It'll be a whole lot cheaper than having to have a new boiler if the water rots the casing out...
     
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