Residential boilers serve a critical role in many homes by helping to keep the house warm in the winter and/or by providing hot water throughout the home year-round. However, since many of these appliances heat water through the use of natural gas or propane, rare circumstances and manufacturing defects can cause units to produce excess amounts of carbon monoxide, posing a risk to homeowners. Due to the severe danger carbon monoxide poisoning poses to homeowners, since carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and potentially lethal gas, it is critical that homeowners stay up-to-date on the latest appliance recalls in order to maintain the safety of their home’s inhabitants. While carbon monoxide-related boiler recalls are not common, several major recalls have taken place in the last few years involving residential boilers that homeowners need to be aware of; here is an overview of what you need to know about these recalls.
Viessmann Vitodens Boiler Recall (April 2019)
The first, and most recent, recall you need to be aware of is a recall involving Vitodens boilers produced and sold by the Viessmann Manufacturing Company of Germany. Viessmann announced a recall of these boilers are April 25, 2019, due to the fact that the boiler’s heat exchanger back plate can corrode and leak flue gas. This would allow the boiler to emit excess carbon monoxide, which could put consumers at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Fortunately, as of the time this recall was announced, no reports of incidents or injury had been reported as a result of this defect. This recall affects roughly 3,000 boilers sold in the United States from September 2014 through October 2018 as well as nearly 1,500 units sold in Canada during the same time period. The recalled units are Vitodens 200-W and Vitodens 222-F series boilers used for either home or water heating. The recall only affects five models of these boilers, and it is limited in scope to specific serial numbers; a full list of the affected models and serial numbers can be found here. The Vitodens 200-W is a white, wall-hung unit that measures 38 inches high and 18 inches wide, and the 222-F is a floor unit that measures 68 inches tall by 24 inches wide.
If you own a Viessmann Vitodens boiler, you may be understandably concerned about the safety of your home, and you may be wondering how you will know if your boiler is affected and what you should do if you determine that your boiler is one of the recalled units. The first thing you will want to do is determine whether your boiler is one of the affected units by writing down your boiler’s model and serial numbers and comparing it to those affected by the recall. You can find the model and serial number on either the side or bottom of the boiler depending on the unit. If you determine that your boiler is one of the affected models, you can contact Viessmann on their website, or call them at 800-288-0667, to schedule a free inspection and repair. In the meantime, it is important that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home in order to protect you and your family.
U.S. Boiler Recalls Gas-Fired Hot Water Boilers (January 2014)
An earlier boiler recall that may have escaped your notice is one that affects gas-fired hot water boilers made by U.S. Boiler that were recalled on January 9th, 2014. These boilers were recalled due to the fact that the air pressure switch can fail to shut down the burners when the vent system is blocked, which would allow the boiler to emit excess carbon monoxide, putting consumers at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. No injuries or incidents have been reported as a result of this recall.
The recall affects roughly 26,000 U.S. Boiler ESC, PVG, and SCG model cast iron hot water boilers that run on natural gas or liquid petroleum. These boilers were sold nationwide from December 2005 through February 2013 for between $1,700 and $4,900. They are light blue in color and are 40 inches tall, 26 inches deep, and they are between 12 and 31 inches wide. To determine if your unit has been affected, look for the model and serial number either on the top panel or the inside right panel of your boiler and compare this information to that of the recalled units; a full list of the models and serial numbers affected by the recall can be found here.
If you determine that your boiler is affected by the recall, you should immediately contact the installer, the seller, or U.S. boiler directly to find out how you can schedule an in-home safety inspection and repair. You will then need to decide whether or not to continue using your boiler until it can be repaired. If shutting off the boiler is not an option, make sure that you have at least one working carbon monoxide detector in your home. U.S. Boiler will provide a free repair of your boiler as part of the recall.
Navien Combination Boiler Recall (December 2018)
If you have a Navien tankless water heater or combination boiler that has been converted from natural gas to propane, you should be aware of a recall of about 3,500 of these units that were announced on December 20, 2018. According to the recall notice, a kit installed on these units to convert them to propane from natural gas can produce excess carbon monoxide, posing a potential threat to consumers. The recall involves Navien condensing tankless water heaters and combination boilers with model numbers NPE-180A, NPE-180S, and NCB-180E that were manufactured and sold between July 9, 2018, and October 14, 2018, and was converted from natural gas to propane. If you believe that you have an affected boiler or water heater, the manufacturer urges that you stop using the affected unit and contact Navien for a free replacement conversion kit.
In order to keep you and your family safe, it is critical that you stay up-to-date on appliance recalls and that you have your appliances fixed/replaced as soon as possible should they get recalled. Ultimately, while Authorized Service’s technicians have extensive experience servicing and repairing boilers and other household appliances, it is critical that you contact the manufacturer if you believe that your boiler has been recalled as many manufacturers require homeowners to work directly with them in order to receive a free repair or replacement. However, feel free to contact us with any other problems you may experience with your home’s appliances.