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Author Topic: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG  (Read 6491 times)

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Offline Jaxcat

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Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« on: December 04, 2014, 03:05:35 PM »
Have any of you had problems with the Gas Control Valve on Rinnai Infinities using LPG sticking and needing to be replaced.  We've done a few of these lately and of course they aren't under warranty as it is oil and residue from the actual gas.  Never have a problem with NG one's.  I'm trying to gauge whether it is a localised problem on more country wide.  If country wide then the LPG people need to sit up and do something about the quality of the gas because at the end of the day the consumer is having to pay to have these replaced (in some cases two in one year). 

Love to hear from others at the coal face if they are seeing this in their region.

Linkback: https://www.plumbers.nz/instantaneous-water-heaters/67/gas-control-valve-rinnai-infinity-and-lpg/1804/
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Offline robbo

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 05:12:42 PM »
hi guys, Jax, never had that problem myself as i do not service the units only install. The oil apparently comes from the compressors that fill the L.P.G. cylinders a sort of `misting 'we sometimes come across that yellow oil in older installations, don't know what the gas companies can do about it, cheers 

Offline Enn

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 05:29:01 PM »
Not that i have ever seen much in them, if installed at all,
but perhaps a drain leg to catch condensate/oils and waxes may be the way to go...
''Never have so many been fooled by so few''
Plumbing is not a career it is a disease....

Offline bowtieboy

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 07:47:38 AM »
yes Jaxcat, i come across them from time to time, i have one sitting on my bench as we speak that is sticking, i have mostly had lpg ones do this but i have had ng ones fail.

And yes i think most of these failures are from poor quality lpg, some installations that the owners try and use 9kg bottles on when they have run out of 45kg seams to be common, and the 9kg have alsorts of crap in them, ask trevor at rinnai.
regards
I believe in doing a job once and right. !

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 06:35:44 AM »
Thanks everyone, yes we've been talking to Rinnai - and the LPG companies, who of course say they have never had anyone saying anything to them about this (yeah right).  None of this helps our customers, doesn't help Rinnai either - bit of a catch 22 situation.  Warranty to part doesn't apply as it is not the LPG retailers would come to the party - but not going to hold my breath there.

Offline aboutgas

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2014, 03:50:49 PM »
Hi Jaxcat

Have just done two of these in the last week 1 on a unit that is only 18 months old and the owner is spitting chips.

Rinnai will be aware of the problem as I gave him the phone number and I heard him going of to whoever it was that answered LOL
Unless the moral improves the floggings will continue

Offline robbo

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2014, 05:24:43 PM »
hi guys, you should have a condense trap to catch all that stuff and even if you have i would think that it would stuff the regulator before it effected any other parts, just my thoughts, cheers

Offline Kern Uren

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 04:16:27 PM »

Offline robbo

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2014, 08:44:47 AM »

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2014, 09:39:54 AM »
Yes fully aware this is not a new issue, but it seems to have increased again just of late, so I'm picking it's the mix of LPG.   The problem I have is customers who have purchased new Infinities and are having to pay for a new gas control valve after only a few months, or replace one within a year of purchasing one.  This item is excluded from the warranty as Rinnai have no control over the gas.   We are service agents and the jobs we have been called to are installed correctly - this is not the issue. 

Offline Grant Bourke

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2014, 02:52:01 PM »
Hi

This problem exhibits itself in gas heaters as well. Usually in those it is a thin film on valve seats that glues up over the summer period of not being used. A firm but gentle tap to the side of the valve usually sorts it out. Problem with water heaters is that the gas use is much higher than space heaters generally. So the gas velocities are also higher and much more opportunity to drag heavy ends out of the system and into the water heaters. They are also often closer to the bottles when mounted externally.

Can exhibit early symptoms in water heaters of fluctuating temperatures and difficulty for a gasfitter in setting and holding  the minimum gas pressure in the commissioning process. Often by the time the problem gets picked up the oil has damaged the diaphragm of the proportional valve (the servo actuated adjusting pressure regulator in the gas valve).

I have extreme doubts that this is coming from phthalates in a particular customers individual installation. I have seen sufficient in some instances where the individual customer would not have had any hose left. This view is advanced by gas suppliers as it supports an "its not out fault" argument. It is not directly related to the ratio of Propane/Butane mix.

My understanding is that this issue is seen in large commercial installations where the customer has no such hoses and issues are greater because again velocities are much higher. Commercial customers can spend the money for specific oil removal systems where this isnt an option for domestic installations.

My belief is that the material builds up throughout the distribution system over time from all sorts of sources. The cure would be for 45 kg cylinders to be regularly completely emptied, inverted and drained/cleaned. My understanding is this happens rarely if ever.

Couple of suggestions:

1. The gas is not fit for purpose. There is no way the oil in the appliance has come from the customer's hoses that has the problem with the water heater. The fact that the gas supplier wants to claim it has got into the bottle from other customers with similar hoses is the problem of the gas supplier - not the customer. I expect any 45 kg cylinder other than a new one if inverted would have more oil come out of it than could possibly come from a single set of hoses.

Get the customer on the phone to the gas supplier and as far up the chain as they can get and have them on the phone work their way through "gas not fit for purpose" followed by the list of; disputes tribunal; fair go; MOBIE; Gas Industry Company; until the gas supplier blinks and pays up which in my experience they will.

Its a bit tough having a crack at the appliance supplier as it is a gas fired appliance not an oil fired one.

2. When you are installing LPG twinpack regulators make sure that you follow the code of practice and install a condensate drip leg. Try to get the customer to agree to regular service visits to drain. The challenge is that if they dont then at some point this really big reservoir of oil is likely to make the problem worse as it will potentially get picked up once the leg is full. Problem for a gasfitter is that if you dont install the traps in the first place then you could find yourself on the receiving end of the customer call when the gas company says no drip leg so not our fault.

Offline Jaxcat

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2014, 05:09:35 PM »
Bingo Grant - absolutely agree with everything you have said.  I don't think anyone is having a go at the appliance manufacturer - it is clearly not their problem at all, but individually gasfitters complaining is like farting into the wind - that is why if we pass on the information so Rinnai can collate and present we may stand a better chance for our customers.  Sure we have advised our customers to talk to their energy company, but remember they are not gasfitters and get bullshitted with science - our best bet is as a collective - and whether this is spearheaded by gasfitters and followed up by Rinnai, or spearheaded by Rinnai and followed up by gasfitters - we need to do something other than leave our customers paying and paying and paying for something that is out of their control.

Thanks for concisely explaining the issues - excellent stuff!

Offline Watchdog

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 07:36:33 PM »
We install Integrity water heaters all the time and have never had an issue like this. Is it isolated to Infinity water heaters

Offline Grant Bourke

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2014, 04:31:05 PM »
Talking to Dave Waite at Rheem and Ray Mills at Bosch they get them the same as Rinnai do. As they have smaller numbers in the field I suspect it is just a probability issue as to how many of each you might see.

Offline Watchdog

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Re: Gas Control Valve Rinnai Infinity and LPG
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2014, 06:25:44 AM »
Thanks Grant. I'll just hope my luck holds.


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