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What the ..........???

Roland_4
Roland_4 Member Posts: 84
Hi All,
I recently converted my heating system from oil to gas. I now have a Burnham PVG-4 boiler and Super-Stor DHW indirect.
Before the installation, I asked the heating contractor to install a LWCO. He said it was manditory to install one due to code regulations. Unable to contain my curiosity, I lifted the front panel of the boiler to inspect the installation. What I found was the power leads to the LWCO device were connected but the wiring for the actual cut-out switch(two yellow wires) were hanging out in space. Also, the red LED on the LWCO unit was lit. I called the contractor and told him the situation. He responded "Why were you looking behind the panel?" I explained the red LED situation to which he replied "Oh yeah, we never really connect the LWCO because they have such a high failure rate and your gonna' get stuck without heat when it ultimately fails". Am I asking too much that what I paid good money to have installed actually work?
Is he at least partially right that these LWCO devices have a high failure rate? Heck, It only lasted two weeks before the warning light came on. I want him to make this right. Can someone recommend a brand of LWCO that is reliable? He's coming over to take a look at the situation tomorrow and I need some ammunition. Thanks for all your past help, Roland

Comments

  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
    I need a chiropractor

    because I end up shaking my head so much. The stories I hear just amaze me. These controls are required, and companies produce them, for a reason. Yes, it should be operational. Maybe they are installing it in the wrong location and that's why they trip off. Was this installation inspected by the town?
  • Roland_4
    Roland_4 Member Posts: 84
    What the .........?

    It was not inspected by the town.
  • Roland

    We are one of the few manufacturers (if not the only one) that provides a "plug and play" provision for a LWCO on this boiler. We provide a 4-connector Molex plug in the left side of the boiler vestibule with four wires and a jumper connected to it. The model that we can provide that comes equipped with a mated cord and plug is a HydroLevel 100 Mini. This can be obtained through his local Burnham distributor. If he chooses to use another brand of 24v LWCO not equipped with the mated harness, then he can cut the plug off the 4 wires and hard wire it to the harness. The harness is eqipped with a Pink (24v Hot), White (24v Neutral) and 2 Blue wires (Limit Circuit connected to dry contacts on LWCO). The wiring schematic is in the I&O manual.

    For the most part, any or all LWCO's for hot water boilers are very reliable. The only issues I have encountered involve systems where the LWCO is higher than the rest of the system and air pockets can accumulate on or near the probe tripping it out. An easy cure for that involves an air vent at that location to allow air to escape. We would prefer that the HydroLevel 100 LWCO with cord and plug be used because it elinates the possibility of miswiring and if it fails for any reason, you will be back in business by unplugging it and plugging the jumper plug back in.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • bigwilly104
    bigwilly104 Member Posts: 50
    liability

    From my perspective as a contractor the liability in intentionaly leaving the LWCO disconected is a big risk. Its there to save the boiler and posibly the house. Its kinda like the T&P valve on a water heater you dont leave home without it. As far as reliability I use and see mostly see Mc Donnell Miller LWCO switches out there. The old float type and the new probe type are really reliable. I am not familure with the one you are talking about but if the guy thinks its not reliable he needs to install one that is. If I don't think a boiler is relable I don't install it I find one I can trust. The same goes for any accesories.
  • mitchb
    mitchb Member Posts: 19
    I am pretty certain...

    "I asked the heating contractor to install a LWCO. He said it was manditory to install one due to code regulations"

    If you check, I believe that connecting it is also "MANDATORY"

    Kinda like "...seat belts are required by law...so we tossed a couple in the trunk for ya.." deal if we were talkin cars here.

    HELLO?!?! is this thing on?

    Just for sh*ts and giggles call im up, and say

    "...the boiler exploded and the inspector says the LWCO wasn't hooked up and it dry fired..I told him you were the installer...oh and by the way..my insurance agents says not to worry..their lawyers will be calling yours for the money for the repairs...either way shouldn't cost me a penny"

    let us know what he says...
  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
    boiler lwco problem

    Where are you located? IF licensing is required in your area, I would immediately contact the local authority and report this guy...like right now. He is messing with your safety and that of your family, and he is way off base with his remarks. IF this is the way he operates, he should be reported to prevent a serious accident. I'm sure his insurance company (if he has any) would cringe if they heard this. Don't hesitate...get it fixed and report him.

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  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    The list...

    A. Don't allow the guy back in the house.

    B. I'm sure he also had no time to clean or skim the boiler. Gage glass level bouncing like a bandit?

    C. Take a very clear close up and more distant photo of the dangling wires.

    D. Get the Mechanical/Plumbing inspector of your community on the horn and explain what you found. If the guy's licensed, he might lose it. Fines would be appropos as well.

    E. At the top of this page, there's a tab called "resources." Look at "Find a Professional." Plug in your zip and give somebody close a heads up about this thread and see if anyone has an hour to document what you found, write a report and provide it to you for under a ew hundred.

    F. Given the gravity of the instraller's "mistake," I'd bet lunch other aspects are also compromised.

    G. Hopefully, you did NOT get this guy from this website's FAP referal listing!

    Let us know how you make out, please.

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  • Ken and others

    The boiler being referenced here is a hot water boiler, not a steam boiler. While many localities do not require a LWCO on a hot water boiler, his probably does. I agree that it should have been completely wired. I disagree that all LWCO's for Hot Water boilers are problematic. As I stated, we provide a harness with molex connector for a LWCO on many of our hot water boilers. The reason we do that is to make it simple to connect and wire. I would suspect that the person who did this installation may not have known how to wire in the LWCO he provided. If he had bought the model that we can provide as an option that is equipped with the cord and mated plug it would have been a no brainer! We also furnish these boilers with a jumper plug installed in the subharness in the event a LWCO is not required. If a problem should arise the jumper can be plugged back in to get things going when a replacement isn't readily available.



    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Roland_4
    Roland_4 Member Posts: 84
    What the.....?

    Thanks to all who responded to my question. FYI the LWCO installed in my boiler is a Bull Dog RB-24. I down-loaded the istallation info and it doesn't seem like rocket science to set it up properly. I'm unhappy with the heating contractor's explanation but I want to give him a chance to make it right. One reason I chose him is that he came recommended by two people I know personally.
    To Glenn Stanton, can you direct me to additional information regarding the Burnham LWCO? I would like to suggest this unit to my heating contractor. Thanks,Roland
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    All that is required

    Is to see what happens when there is no LWCO, and the boiler blows...let's just say I've been there, done that.
  • HydroLevel 1100 Mini

    The LWCO we have made for us with a propriotary harness and plug is the 1100 Mini from Hydrolevel Controls. It can be viewed at their site at the link below. Again this one would have to be ordered through a Burnham Distributor.

    The RB-24 is very similar and is fine as long as your installer understands how it needs to be wired. I can provide a point to point and color to color wiring schematic of how to do this if desired. It shouldn't take any more than 5 minutes to complete the wiring on the one you have provided the harness he has on the RB-24 is long enough to reach inside the vestibule, which I believe you stated it is already in there. Just let me know.



    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Roland_4
    Roland_4 Member Posts: 84
    What the.....?

    Hi all, After a bit of a phone struggle, I convinced the heating contractor to come over tonight and properly wire the RB-24 LWCO. It seems he had a bad batch of these units some years ago and is now a bit gun-shy. I spoke with a RB-24 manufacturers' representative and he expressed great concern that this device was not being installed as instructed. I feel a bit better knowing that I have recourse if something does fail. Thanks again,Roland
  • Diagram

    Here is a schematic for him to use.

    Glenn Stanton

    Manager of Technical Development

    Burnham Hydronics

    U.S. Boiler Co., Inc.
  • Bob Byrom
    Bob Byrom Member Posts: 1
    RB-24 LWCO

    Roland,

    The Gaurd Dog series of LWCOs has been very reliable for us. I'm disappointed to hear that your contractor's past experience has led him to install LWCOs without actually wiring them into the burner circuit.

    The basic RB-24, like most any LWCO is a pretty simple install. We also offer versions of the RB-24 that include a wiring harness that makes the install a "plug-and-play" on most boilers. Keep in mind that there is one version for atmospheric boilers and one for sealed combustion units. Contact your local rep or M&M directly if you are not sure which version you need.

    Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance.

    Thanks,

    Bob Byrom / Product Line Manager / Residential Controls
    ITT McDonnell & Miller / 847-983-5705 / [email protected]

    PS: Glenn Stanton, thanks for posting the wiring diagram
  • Roland_4
    Roland_4 Member Posts: 84
    What the.........? Fixed !!!!

    Thanks to all who responded to my question. After getting nowhere with the heating contractor, I called the manufacturers representative for the RB-24 LWCO unit. A BIG thanks to Rick Rolston and Kenny Starzee at Wallace Eannace Associates, Inc. Rick came to my house the same day I spoke with him and resolved the problem in short order. It turned out to be pipe-dope contamination of the sensor probe and a lack of proper installation. Rick installed a brand new RB-24 and wired it into the boiler. Good to go!!!! Thanks fellas, your the best!!!!!! Roland
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557


    Great. and good for you for asking the right questions. I love it when a plan comes together.
This discussion has been closed.