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A.O.Smith Vertex

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  • A.O.Smith Vertex

    I have a propane a.o. smith vertex 50 gallon condensing water heater in a customers house. My company installed it to run the radiant heat system. "yeah I know, not part of the question"

    Anyway the first one stopped heating properly after only a few months, I went to check things out and found the flue, which is at the bottom loaded full of rust, keep in mind, this is a 2" pvc flue, so the only source of rust is the internal flue of the water heater. there was enough built up that the condensate drain on the flue was blocked, and water was pooling until the vent blocked off and shut the unit down. it would then slowly seep down, and the water heater would relite after its computer was satisfied.

    I know the condensation is acidic, but does anyone know why the internal flue would corrode like that?
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

  • #2
    Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

    Yes one of two things:

    The radiant BTU requirement exceeds the BTU of the heater causing it to run cool resulting in excessive condensing, and not drying out

    The flow through the heater exceeds the BTU output again causing above

    The temp is set low on heater again resulting in whats going on above

    Tank water heaters make lousy low temp boilers

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

      50k btu heat load with a 96k btu output heater, set at 150 degrees, too high of flow then? part of what I did was install circuit setters on the zones to help balance them and get the delta t up to 20 degrees.


      Originally posted by Lee H View Post
      Yes one of two things:

      The radiant BTU requirement exceeds the BTU of the heater causing it to run cool resulting in excessive condensing, and not drying out

      The flow through the heater exceeds the BTU output again causing above

      The temp is set low on heater again resulting in whats going on above

      Tank water heaters make lousy low temp boilers
      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

        Sounds ok
        an older vertex?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

          manufactured in september of last year, installed in november.

          it was kind of disconcerting, since we have these heaters in place for potable systems in a few other locations, i'd hate to think i'm going to have a few ticked customers in the near future.
          No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

            i would be calling a. O. Smith @800-527-1953 in ashland city tn

            and have long talk with them about your problem asap

            they might give you some tips or info, on how to correct

            the problem

            or give their engineers a heads up about possible service

            issues that may be coming up with this ! :d
            JERRYMAC
            E-MAILJERRYMAC777@GMAIL.COM
            CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
            FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
            SINCE JAN. 1989

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

              I agree with JerryMac, a phone call to AO Smith is in order. The other other thing to consider is where the heater is getting combustion air from. Vapors can destroy heaters in a hurry.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

                I believe we have it figured out, though I'm hoping to have a chance to call AO smith tomorrow.

                This model never really heated right, and we had complaints from reasonably early on that the temp dropped in the house when it got cold out. before I pulled the heater I had installed a thermometer into the side of it and the 150 degrees it was set to was never really reached, the heater shut off at 125 at best. after arguing with our local rep for a while I decided to pull the heater and exchange it, thats when I found the rust, so the earlier suggestion of "The flow through the heater exceeds the BTU output again causing above" might be onto something, if it had a bad board it may have been operating at a lower btu.

                again, I hope to have a chance to talk to their tech support in the next day or two
                No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

                  Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                  I believe we have it figured out, though I'm hoping to have a chance to call AO smith tomorrow.

                  This model never really heated right, and we had complaints from reasonably early on that the temp dropped in the house when it got cold out. before I pulled the heater I had installed a thermometer into the side of it and the 150 degrees it was set to was never really reached, the heater shut off at 125 at best. after arguing with our local rep for a while I decided to pull the heater and exchange it, thats when I found the rust, so the earlier suggestion of "The flow through the heater exceeds the BTU output again causing above" might be onto something, if it had a bad board it may have been operating at a lower btu.

                  again, I hope to have a chance to talk to their tech support in the next day or two
                  I'm not familiar with this type of heater, but you said this is a 50 gal. vortex "condensing" heater, right? So if it is a condensing heater, why is there so much rust or damage to heater if it was indeed condensing? I know it should have been 150deg. to work the radiant as designed, but if it was only running at max. 125deg. and condensing, thats what I thought a condensing heater is designed to do. Those rusted parts seem like they should be stainless steel.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A.O.Smith Vertex

                    If i'm reading some of the above comments right, then the flue should have a chance to dry between cycles. so I can only throw out theories atm. otherwise I have to hope to get ahold of someone from aosmith


                    Originally posted by Don the plumber View Post
                    I'm not familiar with this type of heater, but you said this is a 50 gal. vortex "condensing" heater, right? So if it is a condensing heater, why is there so much rust or damage to heater if it was indeed condensing? I know it should have been 150deg. to work the radiant as designed, but if it was only running at max. 125deg. and condensing, thats what I thought a condensing heater is designed to do. Those rusted parts seem like they should be stainless steel.
                    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                    Comment

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