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Natures comfort owb rusted through

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by 92utownxh, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    I had to post this before I head to bed. Not too happy. I was all set to fire up the owb for the first time this year. I opened the door to the firebox and there was water in it. It's leaking from the very back near the bottom. Not the weld though. The plate is rusted through. Huge flakes have come off of it.

    It got the unit brand new in 2009. I've had the water sampled every year by wood boiler solutions and followed their recommendations. I always cleaned it out every spring and covered the chimney with a bucket. 20151015_192435.jpg It's been flawless until now.

    What would you all do? The dealer I bought it from is no longer in business. It looks like there is another one not too far away. Should I call the dealer in the morning or the company? I'm leaning towards calling the company directly. This is the 6th year of ownership so it's prorated at 90%. Do you think they'll actually cover it?

    There are a few good welding outfits in town I could call and talk to also if i need to.

    I'm so mad about it. Almost sick to my stomach too. I love having an owb. Luckily the propane tank is at 72%.

    What would everyone do? I have all my paperwork. I guess I'll see what kind of company they are.
     
  2. woodfarmer

    woodfarmer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Go after the warranty, call the company directly.
    Odds are in the end, you may get a local wider to fix it and the manufacture will foot the bill.
    That's how I hear these things usually work out.
     
  3. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    Keep us posted. I am interested to see what they do.
     
  4. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    I just got off the phone with the receptionist. She sounded shocked that it was leaking. She's going to email me a form to fill out to start the claim process. I really hope it all works out. One thing though, in reading the warranty info in my owner's manual it says to check online for the most up to date info. What is online now is different than what my manual states as far as some of the coverage and what is not covered. Hopefully I don't have an issue with that.

    I've seen other cases recently where the boiler has done the exact same thing as mine. It's major pitting/flaking on the inside of the firebox. When I ordered this boiler I even got the upgraded 3/16" firebox that was available at the time. It's bad enough that I could probably put a hammer through it if I hit it. Now I'm wondering if there are any other places like that.

    As far as a repair, what should be done? Won't a person need access to the outside of the firebox so it can be welded on both sides? So, removing the water jacket?
     
  5. motoman3b

    motoman3b ArboristSite Operative

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    I doubt anyone will remove the water jacket to repair a rusty boiler your really only buying time, typically the water jacket is the leaky culprits hopefully you can get it fixed before too long!
     
  6. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    That's kind of what I figured. What would be an acceptable repair? The way the chimney extents down into the firebox I don't think there's a way to replace the whole rear piece of the firebox. It would be physically impossible with the chimney there.
     
  7. Iska3

    Iska3 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That is every OWB owner biggest fear, I hope things work out for you.
     
    92utownxh likes this.
  8. wat648

    wat648 ArboristSite Member

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    Not to pee in your Cheerios, but I had a Shaver stove do the exact same thing after about 6 years of use. I burn mostly year round, so it only got cleaned once a year or so. Had the water tested religously. Contacted Shaver and they gave me the run around. From what I could tell on my stove, the black tar creosote sat in the corners and on the back wall and ate through it. I talked to a couple of welding shops about it and they would not touch it. Said the metal would have too many impurities in it after burning wood in it to make a water tight weld.
    I really hate to hear your news, because I purchased a Nature's Comfort to replace the Shaver.
    Good luck and keep us updated.
     
  9. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    That's exactly what I'm worried about happening. We'll see how well they stand behind their product, and I'll be nice until then. I just know I didn't pay $5,400 dollars to wind up with a pile of scrap in 6 years, with a 20 years prorated warranty after 5 years.

    I found one thing very odd while reading the warranty info in the owners manual last night. They said to refer to the website for the most updated warranty info. How is that legal? A warranty cannot change and evolve after the purchase of a product. The updated warranty talks about not covering a few things that should be covered under the warranty I received when I purchased it.

    I'll send all the requested info to them tomorrow, and I'll go from there. I'll definitely everyone know. I learned about Natures Comfort when I joined here, and then did lots of research on them.

    If anyone wants the info they requested for the warranty process for future reference let me know.
     
  10. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Does it have return temp protection, or a bypass loop? Any boiler that sees regular periods of return temps below 140° can have firebox corrosion from increased creosote condensation.

    Good luck with them, I don't think I've ever read of anyone getting much satisfaction from a boiler warranty, aside from getting it welded locally & getting the welding paid for.
     
  11. flotek

    flotek Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I hope it works out for you . Warranties can be tricky . In order to weld they have to have something solid to weld to. Then the impurities present another bonding issue . Sounds like it's the end of the line for that unit . This is one of the major reasons I opted for a forced air indoor wood furnace instead of a boiler
     
    Sawyer Rob likes this.
  12. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm submitting everything to them this morning. We'll see.

    This morning coming to work I heard about a grant program in Indiana that just started. The program is to replace owbs with solar or geothermal systems. They'll cover up to 100% of it. Not sure on ongoing maintenance with one of those though. Or electric costs with geothermal. It might be worth applying. Anyone have thoughts. Could do that and get an inside wood stove also.
     
  13. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would be pretty interested to hear more about that one. I'm pretty sure solar can't replace the heat an OWB can make, and geo systems are very expensive. I was looking at $20k to retrofit one at my place, and that wasn't counting changes to the distribution system - or a new one - since geos don't work with baseboard. But if they will indeed put a geo system in for free, I would be all over that one.
     
  14. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    Here's the info: http://www.itsdoablegorenewable.org/ I need to just give them a call to see. I have to get the quotes before I submit the application. I'm definitely going to look into it at least.
     
  15. projectsho89

    projectsho89 ArboristSite Operative

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    Any update from NC?

    Interested since I also have an NCB.
     
  16. 92utownxh

    92utownxh ArboristSite Operative

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    Sorry it took me so long to write back. Natures Comfort never responded to my warranty email. They did try to call, and left me a voicemail to call back. I tried and nothing. Anyway, after tapping the firebox with a hammer I punched a few holes in it. A big hole in the floor in the back, a big hole in the back wall, and a hole in the side. It would've taken lots of patching, and even then it would have been tough to find solid material to weld to. I was very disappointed with the life of the firebox to say the least.

    I ended up buying one of the last Hardy H2 I could find. My old boss in high school had one for years and loved it. I know several other people around me that have them and love them. I had a buddy that owns a wrecker service come out and lift up the old one and set the Hardy. I plumbed it all up myself and fired it up November 4th. I absolutely love the Hardy so far. It's so simple. I know the weather has been warm, but the Hardy burns a fraction of the wood the Natures Comfort did. I'm using the domestic hot water coil in it too. It's hooked into my water heater. Unlimited hot water all the time. I have the pump set up the way Hardy recommends. It only runs when the thermostat in the house calls for heat. I love the Hardy. The strange thing is after the first year with the Natures Comfort I wished I had bought a Hardy.

    I could've fought with Natures Comfort more or fixed what I had. I didn't want to be stuck in a year or two needing a new OWB and not be able to buy new regular style one. I like that the Hardy is rebuildable if I ever need to. I wonder about the new Hardy models. There is one that's labeled commercial under the new laws that is identical to the H2, same for the H4. There are also models that are labeled for coal only that are identical to the H2 and H4 except for different grates. I guess that's how they get around the new laws.

    I ended up selling the Natures Comfort to a guy who planned to fix it to head his shop.

    After a little over a month of running it I wish I had bought a Hardy to begin with. There's even a dealer about 10 miles away.
     
  17. wat648

    wat648 ArboristSite Member

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    sounds like it worked out the best it could, since you were able to re-coop some of your money by selling the NC. Good luck with the Hardy
     
  18. hydro2

    hydro2 ArboristSite Operative

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    My Hardy leaked at about 9 years. I replaced the tank at a cost of about $2,400. The pro rated warranty covered very little.

    Sent from my A1-850 using Tapatalk
     

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