Stainless only venting for Crown Boiler

Hello I am a fellow inspector up here by Duluth MN and just got a call from a past client (inspected house in July). He said he had a local contractor come out to service his Crown CSC 125 boiler and they refused. They told him that in order to do any work to it the venting would have to be replaced with stainless steel venting, currently has galvanized installed. They showed him in the book how this particular boiler calls for stainless steel and said its not to code so they won’t service it. He said it is icing up on the exterior in our extreme cold and that stainless will help that also? I think that’s a stretch.

Anyhow the new venting would cost $1152 and he wants me to pay for it. I have no problem with this if this is my mistake, but I was trying to explain to him that I cannot know every manufacturers spec for every furnace. Any ideas or advice is appreciated…

P.S The HVAC guy went as far to say that the home inspector should have caught this and the house should have never been sold like this.


Travis you may have just been thrown under the bus it sounds kinda fishy to me what you need to do is go on line get the MFG installation manual and read it. It may or may not require stainless Personally I have never seen one with stainless and I have worked on 100 HP boilers that stand 12 feet tall

something smells.

I was just on that site and it states the material for the vent must be AL 294C Stainless steel for the 125 boiler

Page 9 of the manual I posted does not cover the 125 for some reason.

which page covers it?

The original installer is at fault either way IMHO.

Good luck.

I find reference from 50 to 150 it does not state specifically 125 but all flue exhaust is listed as stainless steel inclusive

I read that chart wrong and did not see the dash.

And I see now that the galvanized and PVC were only for the combustion air source.

Like I said the original installer messed up. :frowning:

He did indeed

IV. The inspector is not required to:

inspect or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.
inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.
determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.
light or ignite pilot flames.
activate heating, heat pump systems, or other heating systems when ambient temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.
override electronic thermostats.
evaluate fuel quality.
verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

**inspect the flue or vent system.
inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels. **
determine the need for a chimney sweep.
operate gas fireplace inserts.
light pilot flames.
determine the appropriateness of any installation.
inspect automatic fuel-fed devices.
inspect combustion and/or make-up air devices.
inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravity-controlled or fan-assisted.
ignite or extinguish fires.
determine the adequacy of drafts or draft characteristics.
move fireplace inserts, stoves or firebox contents.
perform a smoke test.
dismantle or remove any component.
perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.
perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.

That’s correct Juan but that doesn’t stop the HVAC tech or the disappointed home owner from trying to throw the inspector under the bus.

Thanks for the help guys. I’ll see if I can talk my way out of this one. Brings me to the point that the clients realtor is always referring me so I hate to ruin that. My case would be it is impossible to know the required flue for every application. Frustrating

Thanks again

Just a thought but did you recommend annual service and inspection by a licensed HVAC contractor? If so you could suggest that was one reason for the recommendation along with what you’ve already stated that it impossible for an inspector to know every install application of every manufacturer that why we recommend the pro’s to do a service and inspection before the heating season begins.

You did nothing wrong. Comparing every system and component in a house to the manufacturer’s instruction manual is not a service you or any home inspector offers or is paid for.

Many years ago, a contractor did the same to me and said “I should have caught” something. I told my client that I’d reimburse him if he could get me a signed letter on the contractor’s letterhead stating that “I should have caught…” The client did just that and mailed me the letter he procured from his contractor. I immediately paid my client the money, turned around and sued the contractor for defamation. I explained to the judge that the contractor was wrong. He wasn’t wrong about the technical issue, but was wrong about me having a duty to discover it. I also explained that I paid the client immediately to mitigate the damage the contractor had done to my professional reputation for telling my client something about me that wasn’t true (the definition of defamation), that being that I had a duty to discover something and didn’t. The contractor was unable to present any evidence that I had a duty to discover the issue and so I won.

Don’t let these contractors push you around. Again, you did nothing wrong.

Did you get any punitive or legal fees to make the effort less tedious and a chore? May I ask for aproximate amount that was asked for and judgement? Here in california small claims has a max.

I think it was $900 or so. The point of me doing it was to get the judgement that I then sent a copy of to every contractor in the future who told my client that “I should have caught” this or that. It immediately changes their tune and causes the contractor to rephrase their opinion to something like: “I looked into this further. A home inspector’s job isn’t to catch stuff like… however…”

A copy of the judgement is a tool that basically puts the contractor on your side in any dispute… for the rest of your career. Well worth the small claims court filing fee.

Thanks again guys. Nick I am going to follow through exactly as you did. I think that’s a great idea. Inspect on gentlemen!


Whenever you see appliances, furnaces, boilers, A/C units and water heaters that are not original to the house, alway request in your report that the purchaser use due diligence and obtain approved installation permits for the appliance to be “certain it was sized, installed and vented to town and manufacturers requirements as many calculations need to be performed for each individual appliance for correct installation”. That should keep contractors and lawyers quiet to some degree. You as home inspectors do not, and can not know everything about every appliance. An approved permit, as you can explain to your client, will to some degree assure that the town official has knowledge of the manufactures installation requirements of that system and that it was installed accordingly. This is a standard statement I use Everyday.