Buying Weil McLain was a mistake
I suffered a horrible experience with Weil McLain that no homeowner should ever have to go through.
I had a Weil McLain dealer install a McLain Ultra 230 High Efficiency boiler and Ultra Plus Indirect Fired Water Heater. The system had critical problems from Day 1. It delivered 175 degree scalding water through our faucets. The temperature control on the water heater had no effect.
When Weil McLain sent its expert to my home to inspect the Ultra 230's operating and safety problems, he made the problems worse by using his expert credentials to protect the incompetent Weil McLain heating contractor from accountability.
Six months after installation, the incompetent heating contractor could still not fix critical problems. Here are two of the many Weil McLain problems.
1) Intermittent boiler shutdowns in subfreezing temps. If we were not home when this happened, our pipes would have frozen.
2) Exhaust gases venting into our home.
Plus the Weil McLain Ultra 230 was not much more energy efficient than the 25 year old boiler it replaced. I bought the Ultra 230 for energy efficiency. There were months when the Ultra 230 was less energy efficient than the old boiler.
Then I smelled the gas. It was coming out the exhaust vent. This was a new problem created by the contractor when he re-routed intake/vent pipes that blew steam into a bedroom window or onto you if you used the door to the yard. The heating contractor I hired was hopelessly incompetent and repeatedly negligent. To protect the safety of my family and home, I would not allow him to do any more work on the boiler. He had six months to fix the problems and made the system worse.
I contacted three heating contractors who had experience with Weil McLain Ultra 230 boilers to diagnose the problems. They concurred that the installation was so screwed up, it needed to be re-piped.
One heating contractor brought along a heating engineer to figure out the mess. The heating engineer contacted Weil McLain that I needed help. The heating engineer found significant problems that could damage and break the Ultra 230 boiler.
Weil-McLain sent a field rep, Tom, to my home. Tom comes with high credentials. I recently found out he was leading a continuing education seminar for home inspectors. I, however, could give him no credibility after the antics he pulled.
I was devastated after having expectations of real help from Weil McLain.
First, he said the heating engineer who called Weil McLain should have talked to Tom before giving me an analysis of the Ultra 230 problems.
Tom turned my boiler on for a minute or two. Then he turned it off. He told me that showed the boiler works and does not shut itself down.
I pointed out the gas leak. He moved far from the leak and claimed he had no sense of smell. I told him he could feel a push of gas when the boiler is turned on. Tom would not come near the gas leak.
The heating contractors who inspected the system said the water intake valve should be open, whereas it was closed. Tom insisted it should be closed, as he "instructs his heating contractors that the valve is the last thing they should close when finishing an installation." The heating contractors told me that because the valve was not properly installed, had it been left open, boiler water would have entered the domestic water supply. So Tom stopped my domestic water from being contaminated, but would not recognize the installation error that caused boiler shutdowns.
I attempted to contact Weil McLain engineers about this detail. Since Weil McLain does not want homeowners to contact its engineers about their problems, I had to use some cunning to talk to an engineer. He said the valve should be open, contradicting Tom.
I picked the best contractor I talked with to promptly fix the gas leak. In the past he had installed dozens of Weil McLain Ultra boilers. He stopped recommending Weil McLain after the manufacturer was non-responsive sending replacement parts for Ultra boilers that suffered mechanical breakdowns.
Fixing the Weil McLain Ultra 230 was another matter. It needed an expensive re-piping.
Anyone in my state can become a heating contractor. There is no organization providing professional oversight that could pressure the heating contractor to do their job correctly.
The incompetent heating contractor hid behind Weil McLain's field rep, who demonstrated no credibility denying obvious problems. The homeowner loses.
I took the only alternative that would force the incompetent heating contractor to pay for re-piping. I sued the heating contractor. Tom was one of the defense witnesses.
After receiving a cash settlement, I had the system re-piped. Now the Weil McLain Ultra 230 delivers energy efficiency. And it has not shut down once.
As I remain disturbed with Tom's behavior and the likelihood that other homeowners will suffer from his lack of integrity, I wrote about my experience with Weil McLain to the CEO of SPX, the corporate parent of Weil McLain. I wish the SPX CEO would make his Weil McLain division to live up to SPX's alleged commitment to ethics and integrity - http://www.spx.com/Investor_Relations/CorpGov/EthicsPoint.
Promptly Weil McLain sent an engineer to my home to confirm there was no damage to the boiler from the multiple shutdowns.
But that was all they did.
The Weil McLain rep who came to my house promised me that the company would extend the Ultra 230 warranty. Despite repeated requests, he never sent the warranty in writing. As I read about Ultra 230 mechanical problems and since my Ultra 230 took a beating from the bad installation, this is no small matter.
More important, Weil McLain took no steps that would stop the misconduct that Tom exhibited from happening again. I told Tom's manager details of my experience with Tom. I urged him to implement systems at Weil McLain that will protect homeowners from the misconduct of its field reps such as what I experienced.
Instead Tom's manager blew a lot of smoke. Tom's manager called to tell me he "talked" to Tom. The manager gave no details of what he talked about. He said nothing about any discipline. I asked how Weil McLain will protect consumers. He told me a bunch of gobbledygook about Weil McLain's "Chicago method" and "Boston method." He provided no meaningful or concrete steps that Weil McLain took that would stop misconduct in the future.
And so I tell my Weil McLain experience to the Internet
If you had a similar experience as me, please share it with the world. The only way to stop the nonsense I experienced with Weil McLain is by telling others.