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Weil-McLain Ultra Gas Boiler

Posted

Pros: worked for 3 years before failing, quiet

Cons: no parts available, horrendous customer service, failed at 3 years old

My 3 year old Ultra 105 just catastrophically failed after three years in service, with a cracked heat exchanger.  Weil-McLain does not have the part anywhere, including at their facility, so now I am stuck with no heat and no hot water in the middle of a Minnesota winter for 6+ days while I wait for their factory to MAKE the part and then ship it to me at my expense.  And If I'm lucky, I might get reimbursed the ~$2000 part under warranty.

 

Getting anyone at Weil-McLain to return a phone call or provide assistance with expediting this repair has  been impossible, even though there are two of this same model boiler at their distributor here in Minnesota that they could have swapped for ours or gotten the part from.  Needless to say, this is extremely frustrating for a product that was sold to me as high-end from a supposedly reputable, American company.  And what good is a 15 year warranty when it's impossible to get any service?  This is seriously one of the single most dismal, disgusting customer service events I've ever experienced.  Buying a product from this company was a HUGE MISTAKE, and I certainly hope this is the last of the issues with this boiler during it's lifespan.  Needless to say, I would never consider buying another Weil-McLain product, ever.

Posted

Pros: High efficiency

Cons: repairs took 5 days, 3 visits, lack of parts

I had called WM for warranty service on a Saturday and it is now Wedesday and I am without heat for a 5th straight day. The local service people were not trained by WM to recognize the difference between a fault in the main boiler control vs. the digital face plate.   When they installed the new main board, the same fault error showed up and after calling tech support the local service people determined the digital panel had failed (there is a control point 'chip' in the read-out panel) and they were to return with the right part.  Well after learning that not a SINGLE WM supplier in Massachusetts had the part, it is apparently running one down from VT fedex.  Still, no heat.  This is the 2nd time an electronic failure has caused a boiler failure of this nature.  I am going to demand an extended warranty.  They should offer an lifetime warranty on all the electronics since there are no 'maintenance' obligations the owner has to maintain them under the obligations of warranty.  Had I known it would take the better part of a week to repair this boiler I would have bought a Munchkin or a Burnham.

Posted

Pros: Somewhat energy efficient

Cons: Incompetent dealers, dishonest manufacturers reps, multiple shutdown

In 2003 I bought an Ultra 230. It shutdown multiple times during the winter requiring manual intervention. Fortunately I was home. Otherwise the pipes would have frozen.

 

Weil McLain's brought its "expert" to review the installation. He said there was nothing wrong, despite the system exhaust venting into my house and water intermittently being ejected.

 

After suing the dealer, I had an ex-Weil McLain dealer re-install the system. Now it works. This heating contractor stopped working with Weil McLain because the company could not provide spare parts for systems that did not work.

 

I wrote the top brass of Weil McLain's corporate parent and told my horror story. They sent an engineer over to CYA for their "Good (sic) Housekeeping" seal. A Weil McLain manager told me the company would extend my warranty. He lied. This week I received a notice I had to pay $450 to extend my warranty.

 

Weil McLain is sleaze. If a Weil McLain rep ever visits your house, video the visit. They are not to be trusted.

 

UPDATE - 2/10/09

 

The Weil McLain Ultra heat exchanger started leaking water 5 years, 2 months after installation.  So it had to be replaced. 

 

The Weil McLain manager who promised my wife and me to extend the warranty reneged on his promise.  He said, "I guess we agree to disagree on what was said."  Besides my wife and me, our heating contractor heard him make the promise.  So we had to pay for the labor to install the new heat exchanger.

 

I am pessimistic that the Weil McLain Ultra 230 will last twenty years.  The boiler has had problems from Day 1.  After 10 years, Weil McLain will only pay for a portion of a new heat exchanger.  After 15 years, the boiler manufacturer will pay nothing.  Considering how young my Weil McLain heat exchanger was when it broke and the other stories on this and other forums of failed Ultra heat exchangers, I expect that I will be lucky if my new heat exchanger lasts 10 years.  As the heat exchanger has a price tag that goes a long way toward buying a new boiler with a new warranty, I expect to buy a new boiler before my Weil McLain Ultra 230 reaches 20 years old.

 

Of course, the new boiler will not be a Weil McLain. 

Posted

Pros: quiet and reliable

Cons: none / must be installed properly per the instructions using knowledge and proper installation practices

I have owned my own service company for nearly 30 years. I have been on numerous calls for multiple manufacturers of boilers.  They all have one thing in common. If they are not installed properly, they will have issues.  The new technology associated with a high effeciency products requires that the installer have a deep understanding of how heating systems truly work. Too many people are quick tp blame the product for system or installation issues. I have a Weil-McLain ultra boiler in my house and it never skips a beat.  I clean and service it yearly and it is installed exactly per specifications. There a 5 supply houses within easy driving distance of my shop that carry both parts and product.  Something about this review does not seem right.  I can call my Weil-McLain rep and he gets back to me within hours and he has certainly never lied to me.  They are the most reputable company I have ever dealt with and that is the reason I have installed their products, problem free, for over 30 years.  If I were you and are still having problems, I would consider a new contractor, new distributor or both.  Just my .02

Posted

After reading the negative rewiew about the Weil McLain boiler, I just had to respond with my own experience.  Our original hydronic system from Heatway Systems (bankrupt due to tubing failure-manufactured by Goodrich- also out of business) was powered by a Valiant boiler a little over 20 years old.  I know way more than I wanted to about under floor hydronic heating since I have installed "Twintran" tubing that ultimately failed and led to the premature failure of the Valiant boiler.  I've replaced the tubing with Onix and now the boiler with a Weil McLain and pretty much rebuilt the hydronic distribution panel and manifolds.

 

I am fortunate to know a certified HVAC installer, and when the Valiant was generating too much CO, they detected it, and shut it down immediately.  We went through all the options about boiler replacement (and possible repair of the existing boiler) and considered 1/2 dozen different models from cheap to higher price efficient models and ended up selecting the Weil McLain Ultra 230.  These folks have installed dozens of these boilers and recommend them because they don't have any recalls.

We spent a week of sub freezing and sub zero temperatures continually feeding the wood stove, but I know the three days waiting for the boiler and 2 1/2 day installation was worth every cold penny.  Carr's came back 2 days later to make sure all systems were functioning properly which they are.

The boiler, system, and installation were well thought out and planned.  The bottom line is that the quality of the installation is more important than boiler selection.  I can't wait to see my first gas bill.  The meter is "squeaky" and I know it's running at less than half the pace it was with the old boiler.

Posted

Pros: Sealed combustion true high efficiency Lowest Nox

Cons: Must be installed by an experienced professional

Many ModCons get a bad rap for the poor installation practices of a few. This is not a DIY project folks.

 

I have installed several WM Ultras without a problem and replaced one that was not installed to specification. When buying the best, never take the low bidder.

 

To learn more...www.badgerboilerservice.com.

Weil-McLain Ultra Gas Boiler
Description:

Models: UG-80, UG-105, UG-155, UG-230, UG-310 Highest efficiency comfort heating - Gas fired water boiler with cast aluminum heat exchanger - Venturi mixing body mixes air and gas providing higher efficiency - Designed to operate in low temperature condensing applications - Outdoor reset and domestic hot water priority standard - Negative regulated gas valve precisely delivers gas to the boiler - Electronic control module automatically adjusts blower speed and gas flow rate in response to environment - Modulates with 5 to 1 turndown ratio - Variable speed motor matches combustion output to heating needs - High grade stainless steel burner features quiet operation, high efficiency, and cleaner combustion for low NOx applications

Details:
DetailValue
Size
Additional Features
Fuel Rating (AFUE)93%
Fuel TypeGas
Boiler TypeWater
Energy Input
Energy Output
Release Date
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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