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HVAC Guru
HVAC Guru, HVAC TECH
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 14472
Experience:  15yrs in the HVAC industry with certificates and degrees.
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My Burnham Alpine 80 will be 5 years old in June. Since day

Customer Question

My Burnham Alpine 80 will be 5 years old in June. Since day 1 it has emitted a loud harmonic vibration. I've had trained technicians & factory reps but no one has been able to remedy the problem. It keeps us up at night & can get so loud that even our neighbors can hear it. It seems to happen during the pre ignition phase, although I've seen it on both pre purge & post purge.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for using this service, if you have been waiting do not worry or get upset I am just one of the techs on here and I try to get to as many customers as I can and I just picked up your question now. Please give me time to respond sometimes I get your replies late so there may be a delay in my response.

Have you had the unit descaled?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Besides, this has been going on since day 1
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

Typically this is caused by a combustion issue at the beginning of the cycle, Are they certain the unit is vented correctly and the exhaust flap is working right?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
far I've had 4 different techs in & they all cited combustion. Twice even as the tech drove off the noise started up again. 2 of them had the correct combustion analyzer & really seemed to know what they were doing. The flap is working properly. I notice in the flame window that when it first fires it's a blue flame but goes quickly to red/orange.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

Will Burnham exchange the unit for a new one for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They won't even return my phone calls. The local representative, Tom Fitzgerald, came out last year, heard the noise & left telling me that he'd be back to me shortly. I never heard back from him. The person that installed it has charged me 3 times & won't come out again unless he can charge me again. He was one person who was still driving down the street when the boiler began to vibrate again.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

HAs any one checked the gas pressures to the unit?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
street pressure is 30-40psi. Regulated house pressure is 7"wc or about 0.5psi
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

The other cause can be the incoming water pressure, too high causes the issue and too low can also cause an issue. IT should be set at 50PSI I see you say 30-40 has anyone put a pressure gauge on the water? Try this turn down the valve to restrict cold water flow to the unit and see if it vibrates...let me know what happens.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
30-40 was the inlet gas supply which was then regulated to 0.5psi. The inlet water is 50 psi. I restricted the flow & there wasn't any vibration at all.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

Yes you have too high of incoming water pressure you may need a water pressure regulator on the incoming line then the issue should be solved.

We are on the honor system for our time, all I ask is please rate my service using the STAR RATING SYSTEM on your page before you leave. If you are not happy with the service please let me know before leaving a negative rating. This is the only way I am paid or credited through the site for my time. This will also allow you to get directly back to me for FREE follow up questions and tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought you said that the water pressure should be 50 psi? Isn't no vibration a good thing?
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

The water pressure should be 50PSI or less for no vibration. Now I would have an adjustable regulator installed on the cold water side. Adjust down until no noise and see if the pressure is still fine to the house..if it is far too low then you may need to regulate the outport side as well. Yes no noise good thing for sure!

We are on the honor system for our time, all I ask is please rate my service using the STAR RATING SYSTEM on your page before you leave. If you are not happy with the service please let me know before leaving a negative rating. This is the only way I am paid or credited through the site for my time. This will also allow you to get directly back to me for FREE follow up questions and tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The water gauge I have is a Sclumberger & it is in single digits 1-10. Can I assume that is X 10?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Or is that more likely 1-10 bar? In which case my incoming water would be close to 100 psi
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

Probably 1 bar- 10 bar set it to 3 that should be 44 PSI roughly

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm still at square 1 with the noise issue.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

SO when you cut the cold water flow down it stops though correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, the noise is still there.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

Did the noise ever stop?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, it did not. It's not a constant noise. It's a rhythmic low decibel harmonic which takes place either before or after ignition.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

If you slow down the water flow on the faucet side does it stop ever?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I tried that.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

OK I am out of options I think you have a bad unit and either need to have it changed out or replaced. Based on what you have had done and all the options I went through I see nothing else you can do. There may be something in the exchnager itself from manufacturing or some defect causing this issue.

We are on the honor system for our time, all I ask is please rate my service using the STAR RATING SYSTEM on your page before you leave. If you are not happy with the service please let me know before leaving a negative rating. This is the only way I am paid or credited through the site for my time. This will also allow you to get directly back to me for FREE follow up questions and tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You didn't give me any information that I already have. My problem persists. I don't think that you should charge me anything except the first $5.00.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

I will receive nothing then. ...take care

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to rate your service well because I know you did your best. However, the fee was debited from my account & not credited back to it. As stated, I believe that the initial amount was fair just for the contact but you indicated that no payment was due.
Expert:  HVAC Guru replied 1 year ago.

I have nothing to do with payments or anything I am just a tech on the site you can request what you want me to receive and the rest back.