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Your OWB Warranty - Wording to Watch out for!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by myleakywooddoctor, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. myleakywooddoctor

    myleakywooddoctor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hey folks,

    I'm planning to post my Wood Doctor Warranty here and discuss some of it's wording with the hopes that we'll all look a little closer at these things!! :bug:

    Currently I have a 2000 lbs Stainless Steel OWB connected to my house, my In-laws and my father-in-laws garage and it's leaking all over the ground due to cracks in the welds and perforations in the plate.

    My dealer is telling me I have to ship it halfway across the country at my expense so they can assess what needs to be done to repair it! :red:

    If I'm lucky, this would cost me half the cost of my boiler in the first place in shipping costs alone!! :sick:

    I'll be back,

    Leaky >:-(

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  2. Dave T

    Dave T New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
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    299
    Loc:
    Dansville NY
    I feel your pain my Mohonning OWB rotted through NOBODY would even look at it without me getting it to there shop,even then no promises on the repair holding up either..Fine print is a terrible thing but it's everywhere you go READ IT and ask questions before the purchase,also usually a metal test will be performed to try to prove it was your bad water or neglect that lead to the failure so beware and be ready..I hope it works out for you..Dave
  3. myleakywooddoctor

    myleakywooddoctor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    OK . . . here goes nothing!

    Have you notices the phrase in your Wood Doctor warranty, "on site or at our factories"? :-/

    Returning "a part" to the factory when requested by Wood Doctor may not seem like a biggy, but what if Wood Doctor considers "the part" to be your entire 2000 lbs furnace and what if you live in Nova Scotia and "the factory" is in Manitoba? :bug:

    I am the not so proud owner of my second 2000 lbs stainless steel exterior wood furnace. My original furnace developed perforations in it's belly causing it to loose all it's water in only it's second heating season. I managed to make it to spring by holding vigilance over ten or so pine plugs hammered into the holes to stop the leaks!

    This first boiler was promptly replaced under warranty by Wood Doctor at virtually no cost to me. :)

    This replacement stainless steel boiler has now just barely made it threw it's third heating season this time developing perforations primarily along the belly weld lines! :red:

    My original furnace has a 25 year warranty covering repairs at 100% for the first 5 years. I am still within the first 5 years of my warranty and have had two of these boilers corrode out on me.

    This time around though, Wood Doctor is exercising a phrase in it's warranty which they believe gives them the right to request that I ship my entire furnace half way across the country for assessment to repaired or replaced rather then they send someone local to fix it. It is simply ludicrous to me that they believe they can interpret their warranty in this way, making it, in fact, no warranty at all! Their interpretation is essentially that an entire 2000 lbs furnace is a "part" that they can request be returned to them for repair! :sick:

    I've stuck epoxy putty over all the holes in my Wood Doctor and put it back online for this heating season, but I have no idea how long it will be able to hold water! I do not seem to have much choice at present! :down:

    Attached Files:

  4. myleakywooddoctor

    myleakywooddoctor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Too sum things up!

    I thought the furnace sold to me by Wood Doctor was the fellow on the left! :cheese:

    But it is now pretty obvious to me that I'm dealing with the fellow on the right! :sick:

    Leaky >:-(

    Attached Files:

  5. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    2,348
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Did you discuss the freight issue with Wooddoctor? The warranty states freight is pre-paid. I assume they will offer to pay the freight from your home to their factory. If they do this they are following the warranty. I'm not sure you have much of a position to argue with sending it back if they offer to pay the freight.

    For the record that warranty statement is not at all unusual. Nor does it seem particularly unfair. Manufacturers usually reserve the right to determine whether defective products are to be repaired or replaced. In my experience they also prefer to have you send them the parts to do this analysis in their own labs. Just my two cents...
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    12,330
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    Western Mass.
    thousands, if not tens of thousands, of OWB's have developed leaks well within the warranty period. Many of the earlier companies either fixed them, or went out of business, or some other tactic.

    The sad (but true) part of this whole thing...is that these units are SO EASY to make, that many were made without ANY thought to engineering, experience of all of those other basically intelligent actions.....

    My advice to new buyers is to read AND UNDERSTAND your warranty fully, and in general only deal with companies that have been in business for a number of years...and ones that you can get relatively long term experience (from existing owners) about. Anything other than that is a crap shoot.

    Despite their tendencies to overhype sometimes, companies like Central Boiler have units in the field for 20+ years, a massive factory and probably a relatively clear warranty.

    Stainless steel is not always a better material for a boiler...in fact, it can be a worse material. I have seen relatively thin steel oil boilers last for 40+ years - due to proper engineering!

    It is rocket science to produce modern products........and the idea of boiler manufacturers popping up in every garage or welding shop frightens me. These days you have to go all the way or none of the way.
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    All those smiley face ... really? One might do the trick, if you really need to do that.
  8. Kevlar

    Kevlar Member

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    Are you the smiley face policeman Geesh lighten up
  9. myleakywooddoctor

    myleakywooddoctor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hey,

    I have heard via the grape vine that Wood Doctor maybe soon be sending a certified welder to my home to repair my leaking beastie! 8-/


    If this actually happens, the words "On Site" in my warranty will actually mean, "On Site!" .


    I hope to be impressed by the work that is done to repair the many leaks and cracks in my Wood Doctor boiler and will be sure to post a number of pictures here to document the work for all to see! :)


    Perhaps next heating season will be a "leak-free" one!

    Leaky :)
  10. NNYorker

    NNYorker Member

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    Mar 18, 2008
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    244
    Loc:
    Upstate N.Y.
    Wish you the best of luck--- I'm still dealing with the infamous Phil Dougherty of Glenburn,ME. You're light years ahead of me as far as customer service--I couldn't even get a return phone call or e-mail. All over a couple of pieces of sheet metal. Three A.G. complaints,B.B.B. complaint, F.T.C. complaint,etc., etc...... Looks like his www.enterpriseboiler.com site has been down for a while parts of his www.royalmtn.com site are fading away. Again good luck!!

    Your warranty didn't change month to month like mine did--did it??
  11. EricV

    EricV Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    290
    Loc:
    Saranac, NY
    You do need to read and understand the warranty terms. I have a Tarm 40 with a 20 year warranty, unless you self install then it's 1 year and that's it. So know these things upfront. I did, but I figured they have a great reputation so I was willing to take the chance.
  12. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    myleakywooddoctor,
    Since you have had two defective units it would seem as if there might be a "lemon-law" that you could apply. Notably these things aren't cheap. Yank on the chain of your distributor/supplier/mfg and inform them you are ready to include your "better business bureau" in the discussion and see if there are other complaints of this nature and if there are suits or class action suits. Since they replaced the first unit they have already admitted there is a problem with some of the units. Including the BBB may help them to decide to send a representative or a partial refund. Don't expect compliance but sometimes the BBB "word" causes reconsideration's. Best to you.
  13. myleakywooddoctor

    myleakywooddoctor New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hey,

    I don't want to talk about BBB . . . I would have far too much to say!!! :coolsmirk:

    Well, I asked the welder to wait another month so I could take the furnace completely off-line for the summer. That way I can really strip it down and let this welder have at it!!

    So buddy comes and welds over all the leaks currently in my Wood Doctor Boiler and maybe I'm leak-free all next season . . . "Maybe!".

    What worries me is this crappy stainless steel this Wood Doctor furnace is made out of! :sick:

    It's supposed to be 409 stainless but it's about as resistant to corrosion as an old soup can!

    I just have this feeling that year after year I'm gonna find myself facing the same problem . . . >:-(

    All I can do is document it all and pass it along to anybody who's interested!

    Leaky :red:
  14. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    3,039
    Loc:
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    Hey Leaky

    I see you're in Nova Scotia. You wouldn't be anywhere close to the ocean would you? Reason I ask is chloride induced corrosion (salty air) can be the pits with 400 grade stainless metals. A 316L or Ti stainless would be much better for that circumstance. Unfortunately, I don't know of any OWB manufacturers using that grade of metal. In addition, welding stainless is somewhat of an art and also welding it in a manner that doesn't create stress in the metal and/or joint. There are a lot of builders who don't seem to understand that. HeatMor for example has used stainless for a long time and their failure rate is very low. If it were not, one has to wonder why they would keep using it.

    Stainless has some very desirable properties when it comes to resistance to corrosion. Some of the grades can also be susceptible to stress cracking if mis-applied for a given purpose. The use of stainless is pretty much the norm in modern, high efficiency gas boiler design and you see many different grades used in those product also. The bottom line is that nearly all alloys of stainless are more resistant to corrosion than mild steel is.

    It's possible that you could have some electrically induced corrosion in your system and the boiler happens to be the easiest path to ground. I make a practice of driving a ground rod and bonding it directly to the boiler with bare copper wire. It's just good practice especially with the equipment located outdoors.

    If you, or anyone else would like to learn about the various alloys and grades of stainless this is the place to look. Everything you ever wanted to know about stainless and probably some you don't.


    http://www.alleghenyludlum.com/pages/products/products.asp
  15. charly

    charly Guest

    Leaking Wood Doctor,
    Who's to say how many more spots are getting "ready " to leak. I think you wasting you time welding up something that has already shown itself to have major problems with metal fatigue. Think you'll be chasing new leaks all next heating season. Good luck.
  16. sorethumbs

    sorethumbs New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    I've read this before, but it makes absolutly no sense to me. Are you saying that stray current is possibly finding its way though the boiler to ground and that is causing corrosion? If so, then by adding a 8' CU ground rod tieing the boiler to earth would reduce resistance and increase current flow though the boiler, therby increasing "electrically induced corrosion" - wouldn't it?

    I don't get it - please explain.
  17. myleakywooddoctor

    myleakywooddoctor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hey,

    Wood Doctor sends a Welder!

    See my post under Outdoor Wood Boilers Review . . .

    Leaky :)

    PS - I think I have found a test kit that I can now monitor salt concentration with! Also, salt seems to concentrate at the bottom of my boiler and I now have a ball valve to allow me to drain off water from the bottom and add fresh to the top if I detect a build up of salt!

    Wish me luck! :roll:
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