Thursday, October 6, 2011

My new Utica SSC-100 Condensing Boiler

Condensing Boiler System Installation

This is a blog about how a homeowner who installed a boiler. 

In this blog I'll talk about things of how to install the boiler and what kinds of things I ran into when performing the installation.

Grab the installation menu from the unit your going to need this as it has all the detailed descriptions of what is required that I'll list here.

First thing is to mount the boiler to the wall using the lags provided. We removed the cover then bolted the unit which hangs on the wall using the provided lag screws.
Lags are important as when filled with water the unit becomes very heavy.
We then piped up the gas to the unit, originally we had a 1/2inch line on the older boiler 80%. 
This new unit requires you to run a 3/4inch gas line to it and not to use the flex gas line either.
The flex gas even in 3/4 inch does restrict flow which can cause issue's with this boiler.
Install a gas valve between the unit as well for safety reasons, I do know the unit has one inside as well but if you had to change the unit out or the gas line in the unit it's good to have one installed as well.
Now that the gas is installed let's install the vent/intake pipe as well to the unit.

The unit pipes outdoors using PVC (not foam core) DO NOT INSTALL FOAM CORE it could kill you if you do not listen. If the words on the pipe say FOAM or CORE do not use it.

Foam core is not designed for pressure where as solid core PVC is, it should say it on the pipe itself.
If the pipe says NOT FOR PRESSURE then you cannot use it.

Here's a picture of what foam core looks like 

When you install the pipe it can be either 2" or 3" PVC using a reducer into the unit. I chose to use 2" until the pipe broke the exterior wall which is when you want 3" so the vent termination kit fits.

The vent has a length limitation of how many feet you can run it, the 3" can run longer as it's larger diameter.

Every elbow and 45 elbow will reduce the feet please refer to the directions for the details on how far you can run this.

I went about 15 feet with mine using 1 elbow so I was fine but the max normal is 50 feet with 2" on a 100K boiler. 100 feet with 3" piping.
1 90 elbow reduces the feet max by 5 feet
1 45 elbow reduces the feet max by 3.5 feet
1 2X3 adapter/reducer 0 feet
  20 linear feet of pipe 2" + two elbows =   5+5+20 = 30 feet total used up using 2"

Run the pipe 1/4" backwards toward the boiler so that condensation will run into the boiler this flushes the system out according to the manufacture. The boiler will condense and cause water to form in the pipe then water runs back inside the boiler and runs out the condensing drain line.

When installing the vent pay attention to the vent versus intake your running so you know where the cover goes properly as the termination kit.

termination kit:  A device that stops or terminates to the outside wall for the venting of the PVC piping, this allows birds or other creatures to not get into the vent piping and could cause problems with system later. See pic below for what this is.
Once your piping is installed you can start piping to your heating zone areas.

I already had an existing boiler so I only needed to build a loop then repipe my circulators into the loop.

The book states the pipe loop should be no more then 12" apart and requires an air scoop to remove air from the system.
I used 1" line although 1 1/4" is recommended loop size. My system was on a low budget setup.
1" with 7 zones works perfect for me and heats like a bastard.

I also had to cut costs by buying either 1" X 3/4" cooper tee's @ $11 each or this cooper manifold  with sweat ports which was $6 dollars for 4 zones. 

I had limited budget and chose to use these although 3/4" line is recommended for all heating zones so I piped up 1/2" on the bottom and 3/4" above the circulator.

I ordered most of my parts from for a cheap price of less then $200 dollars in parts.

The boiler comes with a season temp sensor to detect when the weather gets much nicer it can adjust the boiler temps to a lower degree to save money. Also if the weather gets above 65 degrees it turns off the heat to the home since it's not needed. Although you can adjust this I left it as default to 65.

You want to install your outdoor weather sensor on the NORTH side of your home away from the sun rays to get a correct reading. Use your iphone built in compass to detect north. This will allow you to save money when it's warmer outside.  I won't get into technical details but it is a condensing boiler so it can reuse gases in the vent when it condenses at those temps so you save money and waste less natural gas. 

The electrical wiring was simple I installed a GFI before the unit to protect it's electrical parts and although it's not required this damn thing has a computer so you better protect it.
I found that the boiler didn't like the GFI and it would hit a ground fault because of the way the boiler works drawing power at times higher then others. I ended up removing it. Better to use a whole home surge protection or a panel breaker with a built in surge protection.

If you have an indirect water heater you'll want to make sure you install the wire to the boiler's electrical panel inside at the bottom of it. There's a spot on the outside for GREEN LOW VOLTAGE wires and BLACK HIGH VOLTAGE. 

Hook your 120 volts using the black panel and 24 volt wires go to the green panel.
The indirect requires 24 volt wiring to the boiler to tell it to turn it on and call for heating.
Also the CH T-T is a 24 volt that goes to your ARGUS Control Panels to let all the zone's know when heat is needed.

Once your electrical is setup your ready to proceed to first time fire up.

The condensation line at the bottom of the boiler requires you to remove the barb hose and fill it with water to perform a prime of the condensation line. This is required before starting the boiler the first time and shouldn't need to occur again.

Do this now before you fire up, just pull the bottom of the pipe connector off and fill it with water then reattach it.

You'll be required to hook up a CO2 analyzer to the system on the bottom combustion analyzer port which will read proper firing on the boiler system.

This is required I had tried to avoid this but had some rumbling noise from the boiler and turned out to be firing incorrectly because all these condensing boilers require to be properly adjusted co2 levels and must be done or it will destroy the boiler.

A tube goes on the port nipple of the gas valve to your CO2 reader then take a reading when it's firing up and change the gas flow rate according to the manual on the gas meter. Turn it one revolution counter clockwise to increase gas flow or clockwise to reduce it.

Mine at natural gas required a reading between 8.5 MIN  to 9.5 MAX CO2 and less then 100 ppm for CO.

At first it was running at 336ppm and 11 CO2  terrible and causing the rumble noise, also the sight glass was showing Orange glow.. this was default adjustment from manufacture.
You have to get this done or it won't run right and can cause harm to the system.

Once it has proper burning just make sure the system is purged out and check that it shuts down when it reach's 180 degrees. The manufacture says anything over 180 is not good for this kind of boiler.

This boiler should last you a long time into the future enjoy it.

When all was said and done the overall cost of everything was around 3700 dollars and you should easily get a return on your investment in 3-4 years. 

If you have any questions let me know I can update the blog with details etc... or try to explain.


  1. Great Blog. I'm looking at buying this exact boiler and wanted to see how you like it now that you installed it. How much did it save on your bills?

    1. Well after the first month the motherboard died and I had to have it replaced. Currently the boiler works well I've had it up and running for 5 months now.
      I do get this really bad vibration noise from the boiler but I'm not sure if that's with all of them or how mine is installed.
      Please come back and give me feedback whether yours does or not.

    2. Forgot to say that the bills went down a lot. The boiler actually fires up in 23 seconds to 180 degrees compared to my old Well MClain which took 5 minutes.

      I think my old bills were around 700 a month and now it's 100 or less a month.

  2. I like the valuable info you provide on your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again right here regularly. I’m quite certain I will be informed a lot of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!Gas Flow Meter: GFM100.

  3. I have never seen a blog so informative like yours. It is more essential than informative, I swear. Thanks!


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