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weil mclain gv gold lockout problems

podpod Posts: 27Member
I have a 15 y.o. weil mclain gv gold gas boiler which is driving me nuts.  It locks out frequently especially on cold nights (in New England).  Repair men have replaced the control unit twice to no advantage.  One thing I have recently noticed (but it may not be new since I am not very observant) is that there is little or no water draining out the drain hose.  I wonder whether rust may be clogging the drain at the boiler housing.  I can snake a wire up about 20" and feel nothing unusual.  Nor is there increased drainage.  I can see that the pressure switch is closing.  The controller lights go through the normal sequence but it fails to fire often and then locks out.  Turning it off for a minute and then restarting will usually get it working for minutes or hours then it locks out again.  I have replaced the igniter and can see a glow through the little spy window so I think It works.  My temporary solution is to splice a timer into the power line and have it shut off for 15 minutes every few hours.  I would very much appreciate any ideas about what the problem is.  It cannot be trusted to work through the night on a cold night and has been that way for years.
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«13

Comments

  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    What is the

    model number and make of the Integrated Boiler Control? That will help me to determine diagnostic procedures.



    Do the lights give any flash codes when you find it is in lockout?
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    lockout

    The control unit is a Weil McLain  1013-200

     

    It has five leds

    The bottom is green power indicator

    The second (going vertically) is  TSAT-circ

    The 3rd is LIMIT

    The 4th is pressure switch

    The 5th is flame.

     

     

    The usual lockout has the lights lighting sequentially but no flame light comes on

     

    It then recycles and tries again—same result

     

    It then recycles and tries again

     

    After three tries it locks out and (I recall from memory) the bottom two red lights blink thereafter.

     

    If I shut the power off for 30sec-1 minute it will often (usually) fire after that until it locks out later (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours.

     

    One thing I did tha is a clue I don’t understand is disconnect the air intake from outside air and let it suck room air.  There were very much fewer lockouts when I did that.

     

    My amateur theory is that the inside air has less humidity and that there is less condensate.  That is why I think the condensate line is the problem.  If the water backs p in the firing chamber I expect it won’t light correctly.  But as I say I can’t figure it out and I appreciate your interest and ideas.
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  • SlimpickinsSlimpickins Posts: 308Member
    Problem may be....

    The problem may be debris inside the combustion chamber and it may need cleaning after 15 yrs.  It's been awhile since I've done it but you have to removed the inducer, ignitior and I think the orifice plate and gas valve. Then you vacuum inside and clean the burner and you will need a gasket for the inducer blower. I would not recommend doing it yourself without some experience and a gas detector.



    If you've gotten 15 years out of this boiler, that's good but I would start thinking about replacing with a new mod/con. IMHO, it wasn't one of Weil McLain's better ideas
    ·
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 2010
    Do you have any zone valves

    connected to this system? The bottom two lights TSTAT/CIRC and POWER lights flashing can indicate stray voltage on the external thermostat wires (often due to incorrect wiring on a 3 wire zone valve).



    Disconnect the wires connected to the boiler thermostat leads (two black low voltage leads in the junction box)



    Connect a voltmeter across these two incoming wires . Turn the thermostat up to create a call for heat. You should never read voltage across these wires if you do then there is something wrong with the wiring or if you have a 3 wire zone vale it may be wried wrong.



    If there is no voltage is found on the external thermostat circuit, connect the two boiler thermostat connections together or jumper the boiler aquastat T - T terminals. Turn off the power to the boiler for about a minute. Turn on the power and allow the boiler to come on. Do the TSTAT and POWER lights still flash? If yes then the control module is faulty.
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  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 3,244Member ✭✭✭
    Unless you are very familiar with gas equipment

    I would have a proffesional check out the boiler. In the manual it calls for a yearly cleaning and service. Has it ever been serviced?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    weil-Mclain lockout issues.

    Tim: There is only one zone active.  There is no voltage as you predicted.  I may have mislead you regarding the flashing lights.  That is how WM tells you there has been a lockout.  By flashing these lights.  It does not indicate, to my understanding, any error with the thermostat or power, rather lets you know that it is in a lockout state.
    ·
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    If you follow my

    September 17 posting and the lights flash then the 1013 board is bad. I am taking that directly from the Weil McLain checkout procedure based on those particular lights falshing.
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    lockout

    Slimpickins:

    The boiler has never been taken apart and debris is on the short list of my ideas.  There are some clues, however, that don't fit with that.  The sytem is running perfectly now for many days with nary a lockout.  It always works fine when the weather is chilly or a bit cold and it only cycles a few times an hour or less.  It is only when the cold weather arrives, and the duty cycle increases, that the problems arise.  Thus I relate it to water buildup (condensation not draining after a certain amount/minute is produced) or some other aspect of the increased duty cycle.  It is a closet installation and the temperature in the closet doesn't change very much.  It doesn't matter what the closet temperature is.  I have also discovered that if I divert the intake air to inside air (as opposed to cold outside air through the wall fixture as intended) the lockouts disappear or occur very infrequently. 

    I'm surprised that 15 years is considered good performance for a gas boiler.  I would have expected longer but I am not in the business.

    Thanks for idea.
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  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    weil mclain lockout issue

    Charlie from wmass:

    I had certified servicemen out three times to help with the problem and they never mentioned yearly service; in fact they said that with a gas boiler there is little maintenance.  They did check the gas pressure with a manometer, and, of course, it would only lockout rarely while they were here (usually when it wasn't frigid outside).  The electronic control unit was replaced twice.  The first one was clearly defective with bad solder joints.  The second one (the present one cited earlier in the link) acts the same way and I thus don't think it is the control unit.

    Again, If this is a condensing unit shouldn't there be water coming out the drain.  Even the trap (which is just a "j" shaped bit of black rubber tubing) is dry.  I wonder if a dry trap may cause some ignition pressure issues since the dry drain would allow room pressure into the oven.   But it is dry now and working fine.

    To me the failure is related to the duty cycle (via the outside temperature being very cold when it locks out) and I am missing the significance of this clue.  It makes for a poor heating system: one that is most likely to fail when you need it most.

    Thanks.
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    weil mclain lockout

    Tim,

    Thanks again for your attention and interest and I am not challenging that representation but there is a fact or two I didn't mention. 

    The first (original) control unit had only four lights; the service representative who replaced it said that changes had been made and the new unit would have five lights (which it does).  The second replacement was also of the 5 light variety which I identified in answer to your September inquiry. 

    I am perhaps wrong about which lights flash at lockout since it hasn;t locked out this season (yet) since it is not really cold.  I will report which lights are flashing when the first lockout of the year occurs.  I can hear the gas valve open at the appropriate time during the test cycles, the circulating fan is operational and sucking loudly massive amounts of air if I disconnect the outside supply, the pressure valve is opening and closing (I can see the gap), and there is a faint glow in the glass window which peaks into the oven when the igniter comes on.  These all occur in proper sequence but after two trials it locks out.

    On the original four light control unit  (whose flashing codes are on a sticker affixed to the top cover of the boiler) it states: "...if flame is not proven in four seconds boiler recycles two times to retry for ignition before going into lockout...recycle ignition timing is thirty seconds"...the PURGE and the VALVE/FLAME pilot lights are pictured as flashing when lockout occurs.

    I don't have a legend for the five LED control panel and I may not remember correctly which of the red LEDS flash.  I will report that at first lockout.

    Ignoring the lockout for a moment----can you comment on the fact that the boiler is providing heat just fine at present (40 degree nights) but no water is coming out of the drain hose.  Isn't this supposed to be a condensing system? Isnn't that how the high efficiency is achieved?  Shouldn't condensing systems put out water?

    I am not expert at heating (as you no doubt can tell by my vocabulary) but am a scientific type and am puzzled by the lack of water drainage from a condensing system.  I actually have disconnected the drain tube so that any water that comes out will appear in the galvanized overflow box which contains the whole apparatus and occupies the closet floor.  Not a drop yet this fall.

    Thanks. 
    ·
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    The Gold is not a condensing boiler

    it is a mid efficiency boiler with efficiency around 84% AFUE so there is no condensate to come out of the boiler at all. It may however condense a little in the flue that is why you have to use AL294C stainless steel sealed flue. Some had a condensate trap in the flue that went down to a condensate pump depending on your local code requirements. However the boiler IS NOT A CONDENSING BOILER.



    The original control that was used on these was a Honeywell S9301 with 4 lights and limited diagnostics. The United Technology board has extensive diagnostics. If you e-mail me your postal address I will send you some information on your control, my e-mail address is gastc@cox.net .
    ·
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 3,244Member ✭✭✭
    Not all techs are the same

    GV boilers are not the most common boiler out there. You may want to ask if you can get a tech more familiar with these units.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    weil-mclain gv-gold lockouts

    Thanks for your interest and thoughts Charles.  This is a very good site and I appreciate the professionals not making fun of my ignorance.  It will be chilly in western Mass this weekend I am sure.  Be prepared for some calls from city slickers like me who need heat.
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    gv-gold lockouts

    Slimpickins.

    On reading and researchng I discovered that the GV Gold series has a stainless steel liner and stainless steel burners. I suspect that makes debris less likely although I don't know.  I am surprised the intake air is not filtered except some very coarse spacings on the outside air intake.  I imagine that leaves and other flying objects could be sucked in when it is firing.
    ·
  • SlimpickinsSlimpickins Posts: 308Member
    What Charlie said....

    He may be certified but not a good service tech. Did he say where he set the manifold gas pressure? Hopefully he knew it's a negative pressure gas valve and didn't set it positive.



    As a service tech, occasionally I'll come across something I'm not familiar with. The first thing I do is get the manual and if that doesn't help, I'm on the phone with tech support of the manufacturer finding answers. I've been in the biz almost 30 years and not afraid to admit I don't know it all. A good tech will use all resources to fix something.



    BTW, The Gold is not a true condensing boiler, it's rated at 87%, right at the bottom of condensing  range so you're not going to see water gushing out of the trap.
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  • Dan HDan H Posts: 15Member
    Maybe...

    I've battled one of these POS boilers with the same issues. Replaced many of the parts that seemed like the problem and still had issues. Finally replaced the fan motor which seemed like it was working properly but in the end it just wasn't moving enough to keep the pressure switch closed. I think there's a test tool to measure the air flow but I'm not sure. Knock on wood..... No call backs in a couple of years now.



    These weren't the best design WM ever had so a replacement isn't such a bad idea. Parts are getting more scarce and more expensive.



    Good luck
    ·
  • Dan HDan H Posts: 15Member
    Maybe...

    I've battled one of these POS boilers with the same issues. Replaced many of the parts that seemed like the problem and still had issues. Finally replaced the fan motor which seemed like it was working properly but in the end it just wasn't moving enough to keep the pressure switch closed. I think there's a test tool to measure the air flow but I'm not sure. Knock on wood..... No call backs in a couple of years now.



    These weren't the best design WM ever had so a replacement isn't such a bad idea. Parts are getting more scarce and more expensive.



    Good luck
    ·
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 3,244Member ✭✭✭
    Parts have never been easy to find nor

    have they been cheap. I have some that run and run and some are constant problems. I guess they were Monday morning boilers.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    Weil-McLain GV-Gold lockouts

    Dan H,

    You have bought a smile to my face and hope to my heart.  I strongly agree and everything I read is that Weil McLain isn't the company they once were, in fact they are a crap company with poor products, poor warrnty support and poor attitudes.  My slogan is:  WEIL-MCLAIN: NEVER AGAIN.  Maybe I could put it to music.

    I like you idea for the following reason.  I mentioned somewhere that if I disconnected the outside air hose and ran it on inside air the number of lockouts reduce substantially.  I didn't know why.  Your idea would say that the resistance to the input air was less because I removed the outside grate (which seemed very restrictive in the first place) and also I took out one elbow of resistance as well since I lay the hose straight indoors.

    I have to run now but thanks for the encouragement.  If it is the fan motor I can fix that probably by increasing the size of the intake port (funneling it down to the closet) or even finding a new motor.



    As an aside they say DON'T USE ANY OIL EXCEPT 20 WEIGHT TO OIL THE FAN EVERY SIX MONTHS.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find 20 weight oil?  I do.  I have never heard of such a restriction ever put on any machine ever.  I hate Weil McLain.

    Thanks and I will get back to you on this welcome idea.
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  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    Sounds like

    you need to have the local Weil McLain rep take a look at your problem. I find they are very ready to help out. I get a lot of e-mails so I am not sure if i heard from you on my offer to send you some material which may help you diagnose your problem. The offer is still there at gastc@cox.net.
    ·
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 3,244Member ✭✭✭
    20 weight is easy to find

    it is at the plumbing wholesalers and electrical supply houses in little bottles for oiling electric motors. I am glad you oil your blower as many people do not then ask why it failed.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    ·
  • DelDel Posts: 48Member
    Have you checked

    For loose neutrals and bad grounding? Check all junction boxes and even the electric panel. Units that use PCBs are very sensitive to proper electric wiring. On very cold nights, you may have another electonic appliance that runs and causes interference, or you may not be getting proper voltage. I've taken a lot of manufacturer's troubleshooting classes, and they always stress the importance of sound electrical connections and proper voltage when dealing with electrical problems with their units. Good luck!
    ·
  • TarvTarv Posts: 1Member
    edited October 2010
    HVAC/installer

    I have run into a few GV gold boiler where the boiler locks out and some are due to the heat exchanger is plugging up. Putting a manometer in line to check the reading on the pressure switch, it has to draw at least 1.5" wc. If it drops below this it will shut off .Assuming the venting, condensate line is clean and the induce draft blower is working properly. That means the boiler is pretty much shot since there is no easy way to clean it out.
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    The continuing tales of W_M GV-Gold lockouts.

    Tim,

    I did send the email and then resent it a few weeks later with the NOT SPAM designation prominent in the title but I guess they did not penetrate your filters.

    It is still pretty mild here; only a few nights below freezing.

    I did redo the ground by buffing one of the coper pipes in the closet (which connects directly with the copper ground rod which is driven about 6 feet into the ground in the basement) and clamping and soldering a large bore copper wire to it.  I connected that to the ground connection on the boiler itself after burnishing it and surrounds.  The boiler is on a separate circuit (except closet light and emergency switch) so I would doubt that wandering grounds or interference would apply anymore.  I live alone and usually when the furnace locks out it is at night when no other appliances are running.

    It has locked out 2-3 times in the recent weeks.  The control board lights are as follows at lockout:  There are five leds arranged vertically.  at lock out the bottom led (power) is lit green and does not blink; the fifth led is red, labeled "flame" and is solid lit; the second led is blinking red (labelled "Tstat/Circ"); the 3rd led from the bottom labelled "limit" is red blinking; the fourth led labelled "pressure switch", red in color, is not lit at all.

    To summarize the top and bottom lights are lit solid; the second and third leds are blinking red; the fourth led is not lit.

    This is the consistent lock out pattern which I do not believe contains diagnositic information but simply confirms the lock out state.

    I intend to get a manometer to measure the pressure switch differential when I next pass a plumbing supply store.

    Thanks to all for the help and advice. I anticipate an increasing frequency of lock outs as the temperature drops.  When that happens I intend to route the intake air with only one elbow in a short run to the basement through the floor of the closet.  This should unload a marginal fan and may affect the lockout frequency as I recall it did when I trialed this a year or two ago.  That would point a finger at the fan as culprit as suggested in another post.
    ·
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    Something is definitely

    out of sorts here as you claim that when in lockout the TSTAT/CIRC led and the LIMIT led are blinking and that the flame light is lit that should not be happening EVER. The flame light lit is an indication that the gas valve is open and the burner is lit.



    I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU GET A PROFESSIONAL IN TO LOOK AT THIS SYSTEMS!!!!
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    lockouts

    I have had a Weil-McLain certified service technician (from R.I. where I live) out to look at the system three times, from two different HVAC companies over a period of three years.  Unfortunately when they arrived it was not in lockout mode since I had need for heat.  It locks out on the most bitterly cold days and I can't let the house pipes freeze to accomodate the service visit.  Twice they blamed the controller and the Board was replaced.  The third time, after an inspection and some measurements the serviceman said everything was in working order and to call him back during a lockout. That's why I am trying to troubleshoot myself.

    I am certain that your interpretation of the lockput light pattern is from the Manual but I am also certain that the gas valve is not open (not even a whiff of gas around the unit or in the vent--the fan is not running---there is no flame in the window and it works fine by turning off the power for 30 seconds and then turning it on again.  When there is a flame it is audible and there is no noise of any type in lockout mode; everything is cool to touch, etc.). I am convinced that there is nothing seriously wrong (because this has gone on for years literally) but some element in the control loop (I'm considering the block temperature limit switch on the top of the oven which is rusted partially from a, now replaced, leaking gasket on the circulator pump which it sits beneath) is intermittently telling the controller that conditions are not correct.

    I appreciate everyone's help but am going to sign off the thread before I aggravate anyone further with what seems the musings of an amateur who has no common sense and doesn't realize that he is in imminent danger of an explosion.  I may not have represented the situation fully but I have checked out the system in excruciating detail and I am confident (as an engineer and physician) that false signals are causing the lockouts.  I will continue to search by the light of Diogenes torch (which I am sure was not a Weil-McLain product).  Thanks to all.  I got some good ideas from this forum and am grateful.
    ·
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    Pod I am not one to walk away from a

    problem. There is always a solution I am here in RI give me a call at 437-0557 and we can talk. I also have the WM rep living right up the street from me and I have alerted him to your situation and hopefully he will drop by and read this posting. Manufacturers typically do not like to post here as they from time to time catch some abuse from posters. If he does happen to drop by let us all be polite and respectful of his willingness to help out.
    ·
  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    lockouts

    Thanks Tim,

    I appreciate your note and will call you.  I sensed I was getting under your skin and appeared obstinate about a service call but I am retired and cannot afford repeat service calls that are unproductive.  I'm stubborn but I do honestly feel it is one of the sensors that fails when the work load picks with the very cold weather. You have been very attentive and helpful but I am as sure as I can be that there is no imminent threat (for the resons cited in last post).  You provide a wonderful service with this help site and I didn't want to aggravate you or seem stupid in the face of all the very kind entries by all the posters. The engineer in me wants to troubleshoot the problem in a logical, orderly fashion.  Your revelation that it was not a condensing boiler proves that I am not very bright but was very helpful in that I stopped perseverating on the lack of drainage from the condensate hose.  That was a big step forward and simplified the troubleshooting algorithm greatly in my mind. Since you live in R.I. (remarkable coincidence) you know that the cold weather has held off making the lockouts much less frequent.  Talk to you soon. Thaks for your graceful and professional replies.
    ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    GV Lockouts:

    Just to add something else into this mix of good things to look at,

    The lockouts seem to happen when it is very, very cold. Have you checked the gas pressure in the system when it is cold? Are you at the end of a line where there are a lot of houses?

    Years ago, Amtrol came out with a gas water heater they called a "Super Hot Water Maker". It was slick but it had a habit of going out all the time. It was a disaster for Amtrol. I only dealt with LP models. It was a very cold winter that year and they went out like crazy in RI and SE MA. I installed three in a large house. They would do the same thing.

    My solution was to check the gas pressure and raise it to 12", make a air shutter adjustment and combustion test it. It solved the problem. It used to "snap" when running until it got hot. It was condensing moisture on this coil it had.

    The problem was that when the outside got cold, and everyone was using gas, the gas mains couldn't supply gas fast enough. The outside main volume dropped and caused problems.

    It's worth looking into. There's a lot of GV's out there. All seem to have strange problems. All around direct venting. Regurgitation (sucking back exhaust through the intake) seems to be the hardest problem. Does the exhause face the NorthWest? That's where the coldest and windiest winds come from in NE and RI.

    Just my thoughts, useless probably.
    ·
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    Icesailor you stated your problems were

    on LP is that correct?



    Your posting:

    My solution was to check the gas pressure and raise it to 12", WAS THAT MADE AT THE SECOND STAGE REGULATOR? IF SO YOU COULD BE IN DANGER OF THE REGULATOR LOCKING UP IT DOES THAT AT AROUND 12.8" W.C. make a air shutter adjustment and combustion test it. It solved the problem. It used to "snap" when running until it got hot. It was condensing moisture on this coil it had.



    YOUR NEXT STATEMENT BAFFLES ME EVEN MORE AS IT SOUNDS NOW LIKE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE SAME PROBLEM BUT NOW TALKING ABOUT GAS MAINS. TYPICALLY THEY DO NOT HAVE GAS MAINS ON LP SYSTEMS. WAS IT A JURISDICTIONAL SYSTEM?



    The problem was that when the outside got cold, and everyone was using gas, the gas mains couldn't supply gas fast enough. The outside main volume dropped and caused problems.
    ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    Lockout problems:

    Tim,

    Sorry for your misunderstanding. I was talking about both LP and NG.

    I only deal with LP. In MY situation, I had problems with the heaters going off all the time. Because I put one on each floor, and the other in a cottage, it drove me crazy because they all did it. And never at the same time.

    Plumbers' Supply in New Bedford had a guy named Arthur (with a Armenium last name like Aratuniun) working for them that was a walking encyclopedia of controls and problems. One fix seemed to be that the flame sensing rod was dirty. It never was but I would clean it anyway. They still did it. Over time, after a lot of discussions with Arthur, he told me about the problems with these heaters during that very cold winter. We discussed this and it was decided that the problem was the falling gas pressure from overuse. Like a brownout in the electric grid. I surmised that the falling pressure would cause the burners to be down rated and run cooler, screwing up the air/fuel ratio mixture. No way to fix that.

    So, me dealing with propane, I knew my pressure was always constant. Or should be. So, I tested the pressure in the system. It was just below 10.4". I raised the pressure to 13" and the problem improved dramaticly. Being a oil burner type of guy, I know that increasing the pump pressure will raise the output of the same nozzle. There was no way of easily changing the orifice, but I could change the pressure. I didn't go over the range. I also knew that there would also be a change in air/fuel ratio. There was no way to adjust the the air but I noticed that I could make a air shutter out of a piece of sheet metal and slide it into the air shutter allowing me to adjust it. I did, and I found that changing the ratio stopped the snapping noise and that they stopped going off on flame failure. They ran until a major renovation and they were removed.

    On my comments on the cold weather and it going off, what is happening at one time of year and not at another. From my accumulated experience, if it is severely cold, and it starts going off, what is different about that? Cold air is denser. Are they having a brown out in the gas system, locally where he is? These GV boilers seem to be quite sensitive to A/F ratios.

    I just threw it out there for discussion.

    There is another discussion here and I pointed out that a plugged nozzle strainer on a oil burner will lower the pressure at the nozzle outlet, causeing all kinds of problems. Soot being one of them. It's all related.

    Does he live at the dead end of a line? Did anyone check the house pressure during these incidents? I'll bet not. I would have. But, that's how I am.

    Do you understand now what seemed to be a contridiction now? I was speaking of my experience with LP that the solution came from a problem with Nat. Gas.

    The only stupid question is the one not asked.

    Consider this Tim,

    I ask a lot of questions of folks that I think may have answers to my questions. Most don't think they have no answers. But I pick their brains anyway. When done, they almost always apologize for not being able to answer my question. To which I reply, honestly. No, I've learned a lot. I know more now about things than before I asked you. I may not know at this moment what that is but it may come to me at some moment in need. Or fit some piece into a puzzle I've been working on. Thank you for leting me take your time. I really appreciate it. And I mean every word of it.
    ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    Lockouts:

    Tim,

    Here's one for you.

    There is a small Mod-Con boiler that I love. There are a ton of them installed where I work. They were the perfect replacement for  Heatmaker. They had problems. Guys hate them who didn't understand the laws of physics.. They company has stopped making them because they got such a bad reputation.

    I never had a problem really with them though some installed far more thanI. My friend Nat is an expert on them. I had one thatdid that thing that they did. Always going off. The company was big on venting, they they were regurgitating exhaust into the intake. There were spiders happily living in the intake. I changed the swirl plate. The swirl plate was what failed. The vanes would fail. I changed it to the latest model, made of the newest plastic. On later inspection of the failed swirl plate, evidence showed to conclusevly that the burner was backfiring and sucking the flame back into the swirl plate entrance and reburned. The evidenc was on only ons vane path. The venturi opening is seriously deteriorated from heat. Combustion testing Not a problem in four years.

    I showed it to someone at a trade show. They tried to tell me I was wrong and why. Like you can see the sand bars at high tide.

    I'll send it to you and you can see for yourself. They changed the design on the new burner. It can't suck the flame to be regurgitated.

    If you plant a bush in front of the exhaust of a direct vented boiler, you will get regurgitation.
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  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    gv-gold lockouts

    This is a great forum.  You guys just won't let me retreat into frustration.  Tim gave me his home number and I intend to call this week. The boiler is natural gas not LP but I am at the end of a line and I do face due North with the through wall fitting.  Some events bear on that idea though.  The utility replaced the gas main nearly to my house.  I would say that my underground connector is 80 feet away from the new plastic main.  Nonetheless I will manometer the gas pressure since I am intirgued by your hypothesis.  Back puffing the exhaust into the intake is also a good idea.  That would explain why when I went to inside air the lockouts diminished markedly (during a cold stretch last year).  It hasn't been that cold yet but I could test that easily by attaching a straight pipe (temporarily and while dark so the neighbors won't call the guys in the white coats) to the exhaust which extends straight out 5 or so feet from the house.  I would do straight first since the issue of fan capacity has been raised and I don't want to add elbows.  I'll use an adapter and go to higher diameter pipe during a lockout intense period when it gets cold.  Great ideas that even I can understand.  The exhaust pipe as you know is that grey plastic, very expensive stuff that was recalled.  I have carefully looked for cracks and cannot find any, the joints were made properly with the suggested glue and I have a CO meter in the closet which has consistently read peak of zero (and I tested the meter and know it works). There is a cloud of mist like exhaust that appears during the cold (I expect most of the visible grey "smoke" is condensation as the exhaust hits the cold outside) and it could well be being blown back into the exhaust in the windy times.  The wind here in the winter is primarily northwest so your idea has additional merit. Whe it is cold it is usually windy as well.  There is a good fetch between my north wall and anything tall so the wind gets to wind up pretty good before hitting my house (which is on the water).  If that proves likely after the experiment I'll separate the intake and exhaust or fabricate some kind of shield that won't increase the input impedance so as not to load the fan.  According to the manual my system with a short 6 foot exhaust with two elbows should not load the fan unduly but then again you all seem to agree that this system was poorly designed and has a history of mystery lockouts to reduce the credibility of the manual.  One of the posters found that replacing the fan eliminated the lockouts after other theories made no difference.  The intake and exhaust are very close together as you know.  Thanks to everyone.  This is like having a bunch of skilled consultants spit-balling ideas with me in a classroom.  I have to say this is the best forum I have ever entered.  The only knucklehead so far is me who thought it was a condensing boiler.  I'm getting educated though and I appreciate it greatly. 
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  • podpod Posts: 27Member
    gv-gold lockouts--?blower motor.

    This morning the power went out and when it was restored the boiler would not start----three failed ignition cycles and then lockout.  Tim:  I had the light pattern wrong (sorry)  the 1st and fifth lights were blinking and the second and third lights were solid red.  I had reported just the opposite. 

    I disconnected the intake air at the base of the unit and let it suck room air and it fired.  Repeated the experiment and again no flame with the intake air tubing connected; successful firing with the intake air disconnected at the base and drawing room air.

    I  interpret this to support the earlier suggestion that a weak blower motor may be culprit in this mystery.  I can find the motor replacement for $135 and it look like an easy replacement without taking the fan assemply apart.  At least it is a hint that air intake may be an issue.  I snaked the intake hose and it is clear.  I assume it is the added drag of the intake tube that is testing the fan motor.

    What do the pros think?
    ·
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    Lockouts:

    More off the all coments from experience, but, of you have the brown exhaust termination, check to be SURE that the intake and exhause aren't switched, where the exhaust is venting through the intake side and the air intake is coming through the exhaust side. You would notice this if the siding is all wet when the unit is running. I saw this installed twice on the same building. It was a matter of two boilers, side by side, venting out side by side but one had the exhaust, left and right, right and left. They had a problem with mirror image transferring from inside to outside. I always take a magic marker and write inside the pipe which is intake and which is exhaust. So I get it right when I go outside. Then, I write it on the sideing. And I can still screw it up.

    A  bad fan can really mess you up.

    I've also had rodents chew the small control tube lines.

    Keep it up. You are getting there.

    Also, put a piece of plywood a few feet in front of the outlet and see if it improves. If it does, fan motor.

    Does that fan motor run hot?
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  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 3,259Member ✭✭✭
    Pod from

    Weil McLain



    Tim    Have him call our tech line.  800-368-2492  when the voice prompt comes on dial 101 and wait. You may have to leave a voice message. He'll get back to you within an hour.
    ·
  • SlimpickinsSlimpickins Posts: 308Member
    basic stuff here

    So no one has pulled the blower to access the burner for cleaning? What kind of factory certified guys are they? Probably factory certified in sales like most of the training classes I've been to.  I think I suggested this about a month or so ago. Of course the inducer is not going to pull enough air if the burner is clogged. Tarv mentioned using a manometer to check your pressure switch but you need to know the burner isn't clogged first.  I've removed many a Miller moth from GV burners especially if it has an indirect that used year round. Don't forget to order a new gasket before you or a certified technician attempts this
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  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    Good point:

    Good point Slim,

    I've had oil burners that didn't run like they once had and wouldn't deliver the air they once did. I took the fan/squirrel cage out and cleaned the INSIDE of the vanes of their accumulated crud. Like a aircraft propeller, having the leading edges of the fan covered in crud will wreck havoc on the air pressure. I was truly amazed at the amount of crud and the huge improvement in performance. I will have to mention this to my friend, the gas service guy. I've heard him speak a lot of things but not this.
    ·
  • johnmenkenjohnmenken Posts: 2Member
    Wrong oil on fan motor

    Most will use regular 20 weight oil.

    Over time will prevent the motor / fan from producing enough volume of air.

    It requires synthetic Anderol 486.

    This might be mentioned on the side of the motor.

    Switching to Anderol 486 might fix the problem.

    or aleast replace the motor and oiling the unit your self.

    Don't let anybody use the wrong oil.  
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  • johnmenkenjohnmenken Posts: 2Member
    Replace the gray pipe even if it looks OK

    My gray pipe was OK,,,or so I thought.

    It was replaced under the recall program.

    The metal part with the drain, which connects the gray pipe to the boiler was cracked and some of the gray pipe joints fill apart when being removed.  

    Replace with AL294C and replace the connection to the boiler and outside vent.

    Very expensive project

    Might be better to buy a new boiler that uses PVC as a vent. 



    Just a thought: Why pay someone when they didn't fix it,

    I never charge for a part that didn't fix the problem.
    ·
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