Parkray solid fuel burner not heating water


Postby skarlet74 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:29 pm

Hi. Please help if you can I'm going mad here.

We have an ex council house, it came with trianco TRH45 burner that heated the water for a simple circuit, header tank, hot water and 7 small radiators. No room thermostats, nothing fancy just the basic gravity fed system with a manual on and off water pump to feed the water around the radiators.
We lit the fire, when the water got really hot (took about 20 mins full blaze) pump went on, hey presto, hot house. We have an immersion system seperate, that heats the water in the cylinder, for summertime.
That was before.

A few months ago, the old burner finally split, and we had to replace it. After a lot of checking flue sizes and matching plumbing to make it the easiest swap possible, we installed a Parkray 99, same place, exactly the same chimney, plumbing, pump etc. (Well, a friend who is qualified installed it, we helped.)

The old burner was fabulous, it heated everything to a scary point, we had the pump running at all times in winter because if we turned it off the water went mad in the pipes. Hot water constantly, cosy house.

The new one is baffling us.

It does heat the water to an extent.... nearly hot enough to wash up with is the best we've had so far, but it won't get it properly hot. We're running the burner turned up to maximum air intake, and piling on tonnes of coal to get the fire really hot, but the heat doesnt seem to heat the water. therefore when we switch the pump on even after several hours of blazing fire... the radiators get filled with the lukewarm water and never make the house warm. All radiators are bled, although we don't think that can be the problem anyway because it wouldn't affect the not-very-hot tap water temperature, would it?

Parkrays are known for being hot as hell, and the internet is full of people
with this system panicking about excess heat... noone else seems to have not enough!
Its almost as if all the heat is going out of the chimney instead of heating the water. We have a ceramic lined flue in a fireboard chimney breast, (no brick chimneys here, original council setup) but it worked fine with the old burner. Flue seems to be drawing fine, although the fire doesn't seem to burn excessively even when everything is open, (the last burner was turned down most of the time because it went bonkers if we left the vents open) it takes a lot more coaxing to really get it going for some reason.

I'm panicking now in case the burner is installed incorrectly, or there is a vital something the parkray needs that the Trianco did not...

We are using twice the coal we used before and getting nowhere fast... tried phoning local plumbers etc but can't find one who knows anything much about solid fuel heating! Our engineer friend is stumped too!

Someone please help!
skarlet74
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:26 pm

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Postby gasmick » Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:13 am

Hi i used to fit these in the late 60s and 70s for a fireplace company and the N C B and it seems strange that if the fire is roaring away why it is not heating the water in the boiler i cant remember if there was a damper fitted to these parkrays but the heat was diverted up the back
i take it that you had 4 pipes coming from the old heater 2 for the heating and 2 for the water so were these all connected back as before and if they were i cannot see why the pump does not psh the water around the rads i can undertand that you may have some dificulty with gravity as the pump will take priority
if the heating was taken from the flow and returns say from upstairs as they often were then you could have some sort of blockage on the return
1" pipe I wonder what type of cylinder you have as most were fitted with primatics and autovent cylds
I have never had any problem with any solid fuel boiler system i have ever intalled

not shure on the model but i do remember some models were made for water only plus 2 ras on gravity

but things must have changed over the years do you know the btu output of the boiler????? from the instructions

mick
gasmick
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:09 pm


Postby Katz123 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:25 am

Hi,
You are not going mad I have exactly the same problem with my Parkray back boiler (I think it's a 111 model), which I inherited with my late uncle's cottage. I am refurbishing the property to rent out, and the Parkray simply does not heat the house sufficiently. It takes a bag of coal (£8) a day to keep the fire lit in the stove and the radiators take at least 3-4 hours to get hot (some are still only lukewarm then) and they don't seem to heat the house much at all. It's quite an effort to keep the fire going all day and the moment you go out for any length of time or go to sleep, it goes out and you have to start again. I have to use electric convector heaters to heat the rooms, which gives me a headache. Also quite a headache trying to figure out how I am going to sell all this to prospective tenants!
Another problem is I currently have no hot water as we are not quite sure which tap you have to switch on (I think it’s the one under the sink but am not sure) anyway this tap is jammed but I am reluctant to wrench it off in case the pipe bursts.
I have had the boiler serviced so he obviously didn’t think there was a problem. My builder says he used to have an old Parkray like mine and said it took ages to get hot - infact he didn't bother to light it in the evening as it didn't get hot before it was time to go to bed!
Therefore I am considering upgrading the central heating system to an oil-fired boiler and using the existing rads, pipes etc with it - has anyone any experience of connecting a new boiler to the old gravity pump-fed pipes and do you know if an oil-fired condenser boiler would work with this system? My builder suggested I could supplement the CH system with storage heaters but the quote for installing them was almost as much as to put in an oil-fired boiler! And obviously the oil-fired boiler would be more efficient, convenient, cheaper and less ugly than electric storage heaters. Or perhaps using inverse logic of your experience I should replace the Parkray with a Trianco…?! Incidentally, how much did you have to pay to replace the back-boiler, if you don’t mind me asking?
Any help gratefully received!
Katz123
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:11 am


Postby plumberathome » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:34 pm

[quote="skarlet74"]Hi. Please help if you can I'm going mad here.

We have an ex council house, it came with trianco TRH45 burner that heated the water for a simple circuit, header tank, hot water and 7 small radiators. No room thermostats, nothing fancy just the basic gravity fed system with a manual on and off water pump to feed the water around the radiators.
We lit the fire, when the water got really hot (took about 20 mins full blaze) pump went on, hey presto, hot house. We have an immersion system seperate, that heats the water in the cylinder, for summertime.
That was before.

A few months ago, the old burner finally split, and we had to replace it. After a lot of checking flue sizes and matching plumbing to make it the easiest swap possible, we installed a Parkray 99, same place, exactly the same chimney, plumbing, pump etc. (Well, a friend who is qualified installed it, we helped.)

The old burner was fabulous, it heated everything to a scary point, we had the pump running at all times in winter because if we turned it off the water went mad in the pipes. Hot water constantly, cosy house.

The new one is baffling us.

It does heat the water to an extent.... nearly hot enough to wash up with is the best we've had so far, but it won't get it properly hot. We're running the burner turned up to maximum air intake, and piling on tonnes of coal to get the fire really hot, but the heat doesnt seem to heat the water. therefore when we switch the pump on even after several hours of blazing fire... the radiators get filled with the lukewarm water and never make the house warm. All radiators are bled, although we don't think that can be the problem anyway because it wouldn't affect the not-very-hot tap water temperature, would it?

Parkrays are known for being hot as hell, and the internet is full of people
with this system panicking about excess heat... noone else seems to have not enough!
Its almost as if all the heat is going out of the chimney instead of heating the water. We have a ceramic lined flue in a fireboard chimney breast, (no brick chimneys here, original council setup) but it worked fine with the old burner. Flue seems to be drawing fine, although the fire doesn't seem to burn excessively even when everything is open, (the last burner was turned down most of the time because it went bonkers if we left the vents open) it takes a lot more coaxing to really get it going for some reason.

I'm panicking now in case the burner is installed incorrectly, or there is a vital something the parkray needs that the Trianco did not...

We are using twice the coal we used before and getting nowhere fast... tried phoning local plumbers etc but can't find one who knows anything much about solid fuel heating! Our engineer friend is stumped too!

Someone please help![/quote][quote]Have you checked the header tank for the boiler if fitted is there any water in it .Or is the boiler supplied vie a primatic cylinder if so you may need to drain system and refill slowly but dont do this until boiler is cold if you fill a primatic up too fast it doesnt allow the air lock inside the inner cylinder to form and you can get problems because it is there to seperate the water in the heating side from the dhw system .Also check the pump speed if its set too high you get it over pumping into the header tank and this drags cold water into the system but also you would have noticed the overflow running.[/quote]
plumberathome
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:23 pm


Postby dooyoo » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:22 pm

I am in the same boat,

Ex council house parkray 111, I can hear trickling water behind the fire where all the pipes are i assum this is too much air in the system hence why the rads are not heating up. Its the same for me it just takes too long to get any heat 4hrs or so and not very hot with it.

The pros are used to dealing with Gas so they are usless with this issue. A prober set of instructions is needed from an old timer I think.

I will send a bottle of jack dee to anyone that can solve the parkray effect lol
dooyoo
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:16 pm


Postby havenswood » Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:37 pm

I have had a Parkray 111 running 8 radiators for 20 years and find it OK.
Fuel works out at 45 hwt a year so about £600 for 8 months hot water and heating. When stoked up and draght shut down has been known to be alight after 72 hrs with no attention.
The main problem seems to be getting a decent flow through the boiler to shed the heat. this sometimes happens on a windy night which causes air in the system and damages the boiler.
If you are getting problems I would suggest you are not gettng a flow through the boiler due to air locks in the primary pipes which effectively reduce the size or boiler bottom sludged up.
havenswood
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:22 pm


Postby dooyoo » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:40 am

[quote="havenswood"]
If you are getting problems I would suggest you are not gettng a flow through the boiler due to air locks in the primary pipes which effectively reduce the size or boiler bottom sludged up.[/quote]

Can a user like me clean the boiler out of this sludge? Are they any references I can refer to, to see how I would gain access to the back of the boiler etc. Is there a door or something?
dooyoo
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:16 pm


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